New community shop for Oldbury
A DECADE after villagers lost their last surviving corner shop, a brand new community store is finally set to re-open in Oldbury.
Foundations are currently being laid on Church Road for a brand new village shop, which is expected to launch before Christmas.
The 9m by 4.8m wooden cabin will replace an old derelict tin shed on the street.
A parish-wide poll last year revealed an overwhelming need for a small grocery store in the village.
More than 60 people even volunteered to help manage the shop, place orders and deal with accounts.
This became a top priority in Oldbury's subsequent Parish Plan and a working party set to work to secure funds for the project.
At the end of July, the group was awarded £42,000 from Village SOS, a Big Lottery Fund initiative, to get the scheme off the ground.
They were also awarded £2,500 by Oldbury Power Station owner Magnox last December, which went towards the cost of hiring a consultant to put a solid planning application together.
Oldbury Parish Council chairman, Cllr Barry Turner, told the Gazette: “We see the shop returning to the community as a valuable amenity which increases the sustainability of the parish.
“Our aim is to plough any profit into schemes, which benefit the whole community."
Although still £15,000 short to see the project through at this stage, parishioners are confident the shop will be up and running by the end of December.
“There is a lot of work to do between now and then to secure the funding," added Cllr Turner. "It is hoped that the shop will be completed before Christmas.”
The shop will be a cooperative and shares will soon be issued to the community.
Sarah Hayden, who leads the shop steering group, said a convenience store was a must in the village.
"There is no real public transport and you have got to have a car to drive to the shops in Thornbury," she said. "And with the cost of petrol we are hoping to save people money and cut carbon emissions."
Back in the 1970s, the thriving village boasted two community stores. While one of them went out of business in the 80s, the other shop and post office survived until 2003.
Although the use of a portacabin was initially discussed, a wooden structure seemed more suitable amid rural surroundings.
Customer parking will be provided by the Anchor Inn, to reduce construction costs and avoid traffic obstruction on Church Road.
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