Since the village shop closed in 2016 the Community Association has been exploring the posibility of taking it into community ownership.
Graham and Sibbald have completed the survey and valuation of the shop. A price has been negotiated with Mrs Pow and she has agreed to sell the shop to the community.
The committee are studying the draft business plan in order to finalise it before submission to the Scottish Land Fund as part of the Stage 2 application for a grant to purchase the shop. This application has to be submitted by 4th December,
The initial application to the Fife Leader Fund has led to us being invited to make a full grant application to cover the costs of re-fitting and restocking of the shop and helping with the wages for a manager.
The committee has also been taken through the process of becoming a Community Benefit Society. Everyone who buys shares will not only be contributing to fundraising but will also have a voice in the running of the shop. Once the outcome of the Stage 2 application is known at the end of January everyone will have the opportunity to buy shares.
A recent visit to the Kirkmichael community shop, which has been trading successfully for 10 years, has resulted in a contact being made who would be willing to share their experiences of setting up and running a community shop.
BUSINESS PLAN Douglas Westwater and Gilly McWhirter met with the Committee to finalise the Plan. A Summary of the Plan was laid out in the Village Hall for a week so that the community could read and comment on it, and Committee members were present on the Friday evening to chat and answer any questions. Members of the Committee will also do a door to door survey this week in order to gather messages of support for the idea of a Community Shop. These will be sent off to the Scottish Land Fund to strengthen our application for funding.
FUNDING The application for Stage 2 funding has been submitted to the Scottish Land Fund. Hopefutly, this will provide 95% of the money required to purchase the shop. We will hear if our application has been successful at the end of January. Fingers crossed everyone!
COMMUNITY SHARES The Community Benefit Society ruies have been registered with the Plunkett Foundation and an application sent to the Financial Conduct Authority, so that we can become a legal entity, be able to open a bank account and make an offer for the shop. If we get a positive response from the Scottish Land Fund, we would then be in a position to launch the Community Benefit Scheme, giving everyone the opportunity to buy shares in the shop.
FUNDING BID SUCCESS The Community Shop Steering Group has had confirmation that their bid for £97,500 - to buy the shop and go some way towards repair work and staffing - has been successful. Read the full story and official press release.
DUNSHALT COMMUNITY SHOP LTD
WE OWN A SHOP! The purchase of the shop was completed at the end of March. Keys exchanged, building insured, meters read and lawyer paid! Now for the exciting next stage, to renovate and redesign the shop interior. Members of the committee have had a look around and a Quantity Surveyor has given an initial costing to the work that may be required. Next we are searching for an architect who will be employed to draw up plans. The shop will be opened for a weekend soon to let people see inside, ask questions and make suggestions.
GRANT FUNDING A provisional application to Fife Leader Funding has been submitted and once quotes for refurbishment and refitting are in, these costs will be added on to the request. Other funding applications are also in the pipeline.
COMMUNITY SHARE OFFER The prospectus for the launch of the share offer is nearing completion. It is hoped that this will be delivered to all households by the end of the month followed by meetings, not only in Dunshalt, but also in Falkland and Auchtermuchty.
POST OFFICE Willie Rennie has been contacted to help obtain a date for the reopening of the P.O.
Brian Moore, from Moore Ross, discussed the plans for renovating the shop with the Committee, has prepared drawings and provided a quote for the required works. This will now go out to tender for local builders to have the chance to do the work.
The tenders will be submitted along with the application form to the Leader meeting in June. Also, an application is to be submitted to the Prince's Countryside Trust this month.
The prospectus is at Dragnet Design for printing and will be distributed shortly. The share offer will be open for six weeks commencing 15th May until 30th June. The launch will be announced by having a wrap around banner on the shop followed by having drop in sessions at the shop on 26th/27th May. Plans will be available to view and members of the Committee will be available to discuss the shares or any other issues. This is your opportunity to be part of this exciting development and show your support for the reopening of your shop!
Following Willie Rennie's intervention with the P.O., a meeting was arranged with Graham Turnock, Network Operation Manager, to discuss the reinstatement of a P.O. service within the shop. The Committee would have to submit a business plan, attend an interview and present a PowerPoint presentation. However, if we pass all these stages, it is likely that postal services will be restored in the village shop.
It is with great excitement and gratitude that we can tell you that - when the Community Share Issue for the Dunshalt Shop closed at midnight on 30th June - the total amount invested stood at £29,335! What an amazing thing you have all achieved – THANK YOU!
We have well and truly smashed the target set by the Scottish Land Fund of having at least 25% of Dunshalt residents investing. Moreover, more than 70% of members are residing within the KY14 postcode area, taking us well past the minimum of 50% - well done Dunshalt! But we also couldn’t have done this without our friends near and far, so from Aberdeenshire to Gloucestershire and everywhere in between, thank you to you all for joining with us.
We have also had 24 applications for Junior Memberships and we are very pleased that these youngsters will have the opportunity to become full members on their 16th birthday if they wish to.
At a committee meeting we took the decision to extend the Share Issue for another four weeks, to give us a chance of raising that extra £665 and reaching our original target of £30,000. This will give those who may have missed the Share Offer window a chance to invest. We also hope that villagers, who may have had doubts about the likelihood of us raising £30,000, will now be encouraged that we are within touching distance and will have renewed confidence in becoming members.
Therefore, if you know of anybody who might still like to become a member, please let them know that the deadline has been extended to Sunday 29thJuly.
The share offer proved an outstanding success, with 225 people contributing a total of £31,770. Share certificates have now been printed and distributed to shareholders.
Discussions are currently taking place with the Post Office Network Operations Manager to discuss the re-introduction of a Post Office counter in the new shop.
Prince's Countryside Trust
We've just heard that we've been awarded £25,000 by the Prince's Countryside Trust. This will contribute to the fitting out of the shop and staffing costs.
Fife Council has approved the Building Warrant application for the extension and refurbishment of the shop. A contractor has been identified and work should start soon.
The Leader funding team have asked for further clarification on a number of issues. This is now the final hurdle before work can begin.