PEOPLE living in Uley have given their support to a project that will involve them becoming shareholders in a community shop.

Villagers who attended a public meeting held by the Uley Village Store steering committee voted in favour of keeping a shop in the village.

Villagers are now being asked to become shareholders in the venture to raise the cash needed to run the stores as a community shop.

After more than 10 years, shop owners Joy and Dave Gaynton plan to retire at the end of June. The steering committee was formed in 2010 to investigate setting up a community-led shop when the Gayntons leave.

Since the public meeting, an Independent Provident Society (IPS) has been set up and the committee are in negotiations with the Gaytons regarding a lease. Hans Falkenburg, from the committee, said: "We are lucky enough to be in a position of taking over a profitable business.

"Many community shops have to start from scratch or take over failing shops. We’ll be starting from a good foundation."

Villagers in Uley, as well as the surrounding hamlets of Owlpen, Shadwell and Elcombe, have all been approached to become members of the IPS, with shares at £10 each. The committee has said the idea is to have lots of shareholders, rather than a few members buying a large number of shares.

Volunteers are now needed to work in the community shop when it opens later this year and to help with the shop refurbishment, due to take place in October. Committee member Angela Haddrell, said: "This will be a shop owned by the community, for the community and run by the community." To become a member or a volunteer email or telephone Janet Wood on 01453 860236 or Angela Haddrell on 01453 861131.