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Residents hail 'saved' village shop

PUBLISHED: 19:36 07 May 2008 | UPDATED: 10:29 12 July 2010

RESIDENTS have celebrated the second anniversary of the saving of a village shop.

Metfield Stores was bought at auction on behalf of villager Rachel Kellett, who offered it to the community to be run on a volunteer basis.

RESIDENTS have celebrated the second anniversary of the saving of a village shop.

Metfield Stores was bought at auction on behalf of villager Rachel Kellett, who offered it to the community to be run on a volunteer basis.

Two years on, the property has just been sold to a development partnership but its future as the village shop has been secured.

The shop has been bought with the help of government money by Harleston Information Plus (HIP) - set up to promote the economy of the area, especially tourism.

The money came from the East of England Development Agency and the Action for Market Towns scheme.

“Working for the regeneration of market towns, HIP is in a good position to share with Metfield Stores its local networks and advice. Immediately it sourced funding for, and found expertise to support Metfield Stores in the development of a professional business plan - a necessary prerequisite for any future development,” a shop spokesman said.

For the last two years, the shop has been run successfully on the basis of “for the community, by the community”. It has been staffed by two part-time paid managers and a team of 40 stalwart volunteers.

The shop's “Cinderella” transformation and first two years successful trading are a testament to the determination of local people.

“That the shop has been a roaring success is without question. It has generated community spirit within the village and environs and among the 40 stalwart volunteers,” said the spokesman.

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