Uley store not to close as building put up for sale

Staff, volunteers and customers of the Uley Community Store with some of the goods on offer (6302540)

Staff, volunteers and customers of the Uley Community Shop with some of the goods on offer (6302538)

First published in News

THE ONLY store left in Uley is reassuring residents that it will not close as the building is put up for sale.

Uley Community Stores is owned and run by the villagers and insists it is business as usual for them.

The building, which also contains a post office, has been put up for sale, prompting fears from locals that it would once again be threatened by closure.

The 400 sq ft shop found itself in jeopardy in June 2012 when its then owners decided to retire and sell up.

A massive community effort was instigated, with residents in total raising nearly £50,000 in community shares and a further £2,000 through donations.

With support from Gloucestershire Rural Community Council and the Plunkett Foundation, trade continued seamlessly from July that year.

The Uley Community Stores (UCS) committee managing the business invested funds in refurbishment, expanded ranges and the shop continues to be a thriving local enterprise.

UCS Committee chairman Peter Randall, said the shop had a 10-year lease, which still has more than eight years to run.

“We are effectively sitting tenants. We provide a valued and commercially successful service in a rural area and we’ll continue to trade and provide all our normal services – whoever owns the property.”

UCS pays an agreed amount of monthly rent and this is governed by the lease.

UCS spokesman Christine Kennedy said any buyer would benefit from this income and would find it “extremely difficult” to change the building's purpose.

“The UCS management committee is of course heedful of the sale and a new owner would receive a warm welcome – just like all the store’s customers,” she said.

“The committee, Post Office personnel and the extensive bank of over 60 volunteers are proud of the store’s achievements since the formation of the community enterprise which began trading nearly two years ago.”

The community group are now looking forward to celebrating their second anniversary on Saturday, June 28 when customers are invited to drop in for refreshments and join in with the festivities.

The store enjoyed a brilliant start to life when HRH The Prince of Wales visited the scenic village to officially open the shop.

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