After 6 years of being run successfully by Richard and Liz Aston Stores closed its doors on their retirement. A valiant effort by Bob & Anne and a quick revamp meant the shop reopened, but sadly there was not enough support to cover the overheads and once again it closed.
After a couple of public meetings with villages hopeful that the shop may be able to be run by the community a further meeting in the Red Lion saw the formation of a small Steering Group.
It was envisaged that if funds of up to £15,000 could be raised the premises could be rented for three months and stocks purchased to demonstrate that a Community Shop may be viable. However, the owners were seeking a sale and not rent. Just when it was thought that the project was dead the premises were purchased with the intention of renting it back to the Steering Group.
Knowing that the premises would be available the Steering Group went through the legal processes required to form a company and raise share capital The legal entity chosen was a Community Interest Company (CIC).
The old Aston Stores was being refitted to becoming the Aston Community Shop.
A village ‘Knees Up’ was held on Saturday 22 August 2020 and was used to invite a viewing of progress prior to the re-opening of the store on 29th August 2020.
To make this possible over 50 households have paid in their share pledges and raised over £13,000. These funds have been used to completely renovate and transform the premises but left no funds to purchase stock. The CIC has therefore borrowed for this purpose and seeks to repay back the loans as quickly as possible.
Your continued financial support is very much appreciated in addition to the time given up by our team of volunteers to serve in the store.
The Story in Pictures
Old being stripped out
Progress is being made – the new fixtures and fittings beginning to be installed.