Boost for village community store

Villagers at Metfield will be able to continue shopping locally after a new owner took over the premises housing its community-run stores. Harleston Information Plus (HIP) on Monday revealed it has bought the high street property that is a base for the Woodland Health and Beauty salon, in order to safeguard their future.

Villagers at Metfield will be able to continue shopping locally after a new owner took over the premises housing its community-run stores.

Harleston Information Plus (HIP) on Monday revealed it has bought the high street property that is a base for the Woodland Health and Beauty salon, in order to safeguard their future.

Harleston is about three miles from rural Metfield, in the Waveney Valley, and the purchase was made possible thanks to financial support from Action for Market Towns and the East of England Development Agency.

Reverend Clive Hudson, chairman of HIP, said: “We are thrilled to be able to safeguard the premises for the use of these local businesses.”


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He paid tribute to project manager Margot Harbour who “worked extremely hard” to overcome many hurdles before the deal was finalised, and she is also delighted by the outcome.

“I really feel we have demonstrated the best aspects of team working for the sustainability of rural enterprises and the benefit of the community as a whole,” she said.

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Metfield Stores has been running successfully for close on two years, with the use of volunteers. So it is fitting that HIP - formerly Harleston Development Partnership and itself volunteer-driven has been able to safeguard the future.

The stores'director, Alan Strevens, said: “We have been extremely fortunate to be able to keep our village shop, thanks to the hard work of dozens of local people. Metfield Stores has become the hub of the village, and now we can look forward to a bright and promising future in partnership with HIP - our new landlord and colleague.”

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