Huw Irranca-Davies visits Berrynarbor Community Shop

Berrynarbor Community Shop - Huw Irranca-Davies - 02-03-10
L to R: Huw Irranca-Davies MP, Lucy Findlay (CEO RiSE), Alex Parke (Chair), Anita Abott (shop manageress), Pamela Parke (Committee member and publicity manager), David Fisher (Plunkett)

On Tuesday (2/3/10), as part of a wider tour of the area, Defra’s Third Sector Minister, Huw Irranca Davies visited Berrynarbor Community Shop on the western edge of Exmoor in north Devon.

For decades shops have been closing in rural areas. This is mainly due to the overall rise people’s mobility and the ’pull’ of the drive-in, drive-out supermarket. This has meant that it  is harder and harder to make a living running a village shop as a private business, especially in an economic downturn. This is where community shops come in. The number of community shops established and the level of enquiries received by the Plunkett Foundation over the last year has reached an all time high as rural people look at alternative ways to keep retail services in their communities. The social/community enterprise model of retail was proving to be particularly resilient with communities responding to changing economic conditions by increasing or decreasing the level of volunteering for example.

Related post: Community-owned shops – Third Sector steps in where the private sector struggles

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