The closure of the Castle Bytham and Little Bytham shops has left the two communities with no local shop facilities. This situation is exacerbated by the limited availability of public transport to nearby towns, modest road links and an aging population. A community group has formed to consider the feasibility and development of a “community shop” to serve the needs of the two parishes of Castle Bytham and Little Bytham. Village shops are recognised as core services for rural communities and vital to their sustainability.
To consider the feasibility and development of a community shop to serve the needs of the two parishes of Castle Bytham and Little Bytham.
WHAT IS A COMMUNITY SHOP?
A shop that is primarily for community benefit and their interests are linked into Community control. Community shops have open and voluntary membership, whereby members are part owners of the business and all members have an equal say in how the business is run, regardless of their level of investment.
The Steering Group (SG) shall comprise members from within the target communities and some of whom possess experience and competencies appropriate to the project. They shall elect a minimum of 3 officers of the SG, comprising Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer. Other officers may be appointed if necessary and non-members co-opted for specific tasks. An essential role for the SG will be to consult with the local community and keep it appraised of developments.
The role of the SG is to carry out a feasibility study for a community shop. If that study indicates that that such a facility would meet the needs of the local community then the SG will assume the role of a Project Team to develop such a facility. The SG will continue in being until such time as it is able to hand over the long term day to day operation of the shop to a Management Committee. The primary support for the Project will come from the Plunkett Foundation (PF).
The SG will develop and approve a Project Plan to meet the following key objectives, with guidance from key advisors:
Complete Feasibility Study – case studies from PF, visit other community shops
Identify and cost suitable possible shop venues – Messenger Construction
Identify suitable capital funding streams – PF, Lincs Funding Portal (Community Lincs), Funding Central (Cabinet Office website)
Consult with the local community
Identify the best legal status for a community shop – PF, Community Lincs
Develop Business Plan – PF, SG competencies.
Oversee construction and fitting out phase of the project – Messenger Construction, SG competencies
Draft a constitution for the Management Committee to amend, approve and adopt.
The SG will develop and approve a 2 stage Business Plan (BP):
The SG will terminate its existence either when it is able to hand over to a Management Committee, when such funds and legal responsibilities will also transfer or, it determines the project cannot be completed.
Part 1 will deal with the identification, funding construction/outfitting etc of a shop venue.
Part 2 will deal with the actual operation of a shop – staffing, layout, supply chain and ongoing public consultation. Both Parts will form the essential basis for justifying most grant applications.