June 14, 2007
The launch of the Village CORE Programme to assist community owned shops
There’s a growing success story at the heart of the countryside as village communities are working together to reverse the downward spiral of small shop closures.
There’s a growing success story at the heart of the countryside as village communities are working together to reverse the downward spiral of small shop closures. This trend looks set to continue thanks to the launch of the Village CORE Programme, which will provide £2 million of start-up funding to new community-owned shops over the next three years.
In an exciting new development, ViRSA, in partnership with the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation and Co-operative and Community Finance is delighted to announce the launch of the Village CORE Programme through which financial start-up packages of up to £40,000 per shop are available, to be complemented by contributions from the community and advice from ViRSA. The loan element of the package is provided by Co-operative and Community Finance, the longest established lender for social purpose in the UK.
Grants will be awarded to villages of at least 200 people which are planning to set up a community-owned shop, and the Village CORE Programme aims to see the number of these enterprises double over the next five years as a result. With several thousand rural settlements in Britain potentially suitable for community-owned shops, the possible social impact is considerable, and the village store looks set to be the CORE of the countryside for many years to come.