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Future looks bright for Carhampton shop
FEARS over the potential closure of a shop in Carhampton are subsiding as prospective buyers express great interest in it.
Concerned villagers set up the Carhampton Community Shop Steering Group after learning of the current owners’ plans to retire.
A meeting organised to discuss how to save the shop attracted more than 70 people and a plan was made to either find a buyer or run it as a community.
Three buyers came forward quite quickly and one in particular is looking very promising.
Peter Jaques, steering group chairman, said: “We as a village were very disturbed by this because we can buy all the essentials there without travelling the two or three miles to the nearest shop.
“There are supermarkets in Minehead or Williton, but it is very useful not just for groceries, but also because of the post office there, which is very important.
“The turnout at the meeting was absolutely amazing and showed how much support there is for the shop. No-one wants it to close.
“It’s a good business and just needs someone with the energy and enthusiasm to take it forward. The prospective buyer is very keen to get everything in place and even has plans to start deliveries.
“We feel we are now in a very good position. It is looking very positive.”
Magna West Somerset Housing Association, which owns a number of homes in the village, is represented on the steering group by community involvement officer
He said: “We have more than 100 properties in Carhampton, including sheltered accommodation, and most tenants make use of the shop and post office.
“Facilities like these play a crucial part in helping to keep rural communities alive. As a landlord, we are very keen to help where we can.
“The steering group agrees the best solution is for someone to come along and buy the shop. But if it came to it and Carhampton people wanted to set up a community
shop, this is something with which we at Magna might be able to help.”