As the NGCE team of consultants and volunteers knuckles down to the work of actually buying and running the shop, we will try and keep you updated, here, on Facebook and in the shop about the plans and the progress. This is an outline timetable of the Project Plan at present, giving you the key dates coming up. Keep coming back for updates!
Share Offer closes – thank you!
When the Share Offer closed on the 28th April, we knew we had met our £20,000 target after a late surge in pledges. But on final counting, we now see that we raised just over £24,000 in the 6 weeks! This is fantastic news, and the Big Lottery have confirmed that they can release the main funds to us in the light of this.
New Galloway Community Enterprises is now owned by 268 members, 180 (67%) of whom live in New Galloway and 75% in the Glenkens. This means we are truely community-owned and community-managed, and we look forward to welcoming our new members at the next AGM, if not before!
We also raised over £1,600 from a couple of fantastic fund-raising events – thanks again to Jim McPhee for the Ragtime concert in the Town Hall, and to Dave and Marion Briggs of the Smithy Tea Rooms for a very lively dinner! If you missed them, don’t worry – a big part of this project is bringing the community together more often and there will be many more where they came from.
Big Lottery grant awarded!
The Big Lottery Fund announced today (22nd March) that New Galloway Community Enterprises is one of 10 projects across Scotland to have been awarded a ‘Growing Community Assets’ grant.
This grant will allow us to purchase Hopkins Shop and the house attached to it, convert the shop into a modern Community Shop, and create self-catering flats for tourist letting in the house. This means that the shop can continue to be at the centre of village life, and the flats will provide a sustainable income for New Galloway for many years to come.
The grant also covers some operational support for the shop in the first years, to assure sustainability, and the salary of a Community Engagement Officer for 2 days a week for 5 years. They will be based in the shop premises and their role will be to work on community projects and to support people within the Burgh as needed.
It’s been a long road to get here, with many community consultations and a lot of hard work, but we’re delighted that the Big Lottery supports our vision for the future of New Galloway so whole-heartedly.
We’d like to thank everyone who joined in the community consultations and helped us shape the plan, our own volunteer members of the Management Committee who have worked so hard on this, our old and new Members, the Plunkett Foundation, Community Shares Scotland and of course the Big Lottery.
Watch this space for updates as we have them, and follow us on Facebook (search for New Galloway Community Shop) if you can.
Share Offer launches! Sunday 12th March
As part of the plans to save the village shop, New Galloway Community Enterprises is raising money by selling Community Shares. By buying a Share, you can join in the future of New Galloway. Come along to our Launch Event on Sunday in the Town Hall to find out more, or look out for the Share Offer Brochures around the village from Sunday.
Open Meeting 29th September
That’s it! The 100-page application form and our detailed Business Plan were sent to the Big Lottery on the 29th August for their assessment and decision. Now all we can do is wait! We should hear back by the end of the year – and if it’s a Yes, the purchase and renovation work can begin immediately. Fingers crossed!
Our initial expectation was that we would move the PO into the shop, and the Postmaster was very happy to do this, on the basis of a package being offered by the main Post Office.
However, as time went on and the discussions progressed, it suddenly became apparent that the Post Office had changed the rules and that no package would be forthcoming.
In this light of this, and after detailed (and very cordial) discussions with the Postmaster, the following strategy has been agreed:
- The PO will continue in its existing location as the Postmaster’s business, exactly as at present.
- The renovation of the shop will be done with due regard to receiving a PO Local in due course.
- In the mean time, the shop will not compete with the PO, and will in fact work together for mutual benefit as laid out above.
- As and when the Postmaster decides to move on from the Post Office (which would ordinarily be a time of very high risk for the future of the service), the community shop will inform the main Post Office that they would like to take the service over, and would have an extremely good case for doing so.