Roadwater Community Village Shop
Helping a community to thrive!
This is a case study demonstrating our Business Planning Consultancy Support
Rural communities across the UK are facing difficult challenges with the closure of many post offices and village stores. Roadwater, a village in Exmoor National Park, knows this all too well. In 2015, after the sudden and unexpected death of the shopkeeper, the village community found themselves faced with the prospect of the shop and post office closing. However, the community rallied to form a new Community Shop. In this case study we share how Miles Phillips Consulting was part of their journey between June 2018 and March 2019.
The vision for Roadwater Community Village Shop is to create a sustainable and accessible shop and build a community hub to provide an informal environment serving the everyday shopping and social needs for residents and the wider rural community.
The Shop’s purpose is to enhance the daily life of the village by significantly upgrading and expanding the shop and post office into a vibrant community hub by incorporating additional social space in the form of a café area.
The emphasis is on contributing to the local economy and seeking to improve the lives of all who use the facilities, particularly those who face mobility challenges in accessing services outside the immediate area and those who live alone or would, for other reasons, benefit from an opportunity for social interaction.
Through a combination of community withdrawable shares, donations and local awards the Shop’s management committee raised enough funds for the purchase of the freehold to the Village Shop.
The overall project required further funding though to extend the building to incorporate a cafe area, completely refurbish the building and upgrade and repair the property as a whole.
HOW WE HELPED
Miles Phillips Consulting were successful in winning Reach Funding which paid for the consultancy time to prepare a Strategic Business Plan. This a three-year plan was to be the building blocks for the future
Working closely with Roadwater Community Village Shop, the Miles Phillips team wrote a Business Plan that contained robust market research to show a clear evidence of need and competitor analysis for the Community Shop. We developed a social impact reporting process, reviewed potential risks and identified funding sources.
The Business Plan was successful in securing social investment through Somerset Social Enterprise Fund (SSEF).
1. To produce a full business plan with a robust financial summary
2. To prepare and support the presentation and application to the SSEF panel
3. To support the approach to other funders for additional grant funding
The Shop is now thriving, with a community that are benefitting from the informal environment, an array of locally produced products and the active Post Office. There is an active and engaged Management Team with a loyal workforce and over 50 volunteers.
You can take a look at the Roadwater Community Village Shop website here!