Villagers come together to bring shop back to Kilsby

The group's poster in Kilsby.
The group's poster in Kilsby.

A group of villagers have come together to set up a post office and shop after the closure of their only shop ‘ripped the heart of the village out’.

Residents in Kilsby have formed a co-operative and plan to open a post office and shop in a portable cabin in the car park of the Red Lion pub in the village.

Nigel Gostick, retired GP and chairman of Kilsby Village Shop Ltd, said the village had its ‘heart torn out’ when its only shop closed a year ago.

He said the shop acted as a centre point and social hub for Kilsby, especially for elderly residents who found it difficult to travel much further.

After conducting a survey and receiving overwhelming support, the group explored several options for the new shop before deciding using a portable cabin and siting it in the Red Lion’s car park was the best option.

The shop will be staffed by volunteers, with one full-time manager taking a salary.

Mr Gostick said profits from the shop will be invested into projects which benefit the community.

He said the owner of the Red Lion, Patrick Flore, has been very helpful, agreeing to lease part of the car park to the group.

The group hopes the shop will be open by January next year after planning permission is granted.

Trisha Brown, a committee member, said the group is excited, and would like to thank the array of villagers and tradespeople who have volunteered to help set-up and staff the shop.

She said the shop already has 38 villagers who are prepared to volunteer their time when it opens – with some offering to volunteer 24 hours a week.

She said: “The response from the village has been fantastic.

“This is a project for everyone in the area – everyone is coming together for the good of the community.”

Residents wishing to support the shop can buy shares.

Mrs Brown said: “Offering shares gives so many people the chance to be involved and to help.”

For more information on the project head to www.facebook.com/kilsbycommunityshop or email villageshop.kilsby@gmail.com