VILLAGERS in Uley have raised £50,000 to keep their shop open.

The Uley Village Store Steering Committee has confirmed that enough money has been raised to transfer the Uley Stores into a community shop when it closes at the end of the month.

The Uley Community Store will officially open on Sunday, July 1.

The steering committee made a plea to local people earlier this year to buy shares in the shop so it could take over the running of it following the retirement of Joy and Dave Gaynton.

As a result 300 people, from 200 households contributed £47,540 in community shares, and a further £2,080 was raised through donations.

Peter Randall, committee chairman, said: "The village has responded beyond all expectation in terms of financial support, the quantity of members and the number of volunteers. We are delighted and very grateful."

Mr Randall added that the business will be able to continue seamlessly throughout the summer.

The committee plans to refurbish the shop and post office to create more space and allow more products to be displayed but this work will be carried out in the autumn. In the mean time the committee will give the outside a fresh coat of paint and change the signage.

The shop will be run by Uley-volunteer Angela Haddrell and two paid sub post office assistants Tim Ingram and Joanna Walker, as well as 38 volunteers who will work on a rota.

Mr Randall said the village was thankful to Mr and Mrs Gaynton who had run the Uley Store for 12 years.

He said: "We would like to express our thanks to Joy and Dave for their 12 years of service in the shop and we wish them well in their future."

To volunteer to help with the store call 01453 861131 or 860236.