In early 2014 a few residents started to look into the idea of taking on the village store and post office as a community-owned business. The shop had been struggling for a few years and looked likely to close. In March we carried out a community consultation and there was overwhelming support for us to carry out a feasibility study, so a steering group was set up to drive the project forward. When the shop closed in May we stepped up the work. The feasibility study indicated that it would be a viable proposal, given sufficient custom, funding and volunteer support.
In July we became incorporated as Clapham Community Shop Ltd and in September, after writing a business plan, we began fundraising to cover the start-up costs. Within five weeks we’d raised nearly £50,000 including more than £33,000 through a community share offer. There are currently around 165 members.
We also got grants from Clapham Parish Council, the Yorkshire Dales Sustainable Development Fund, the Plunkett Foundation, the Craven Trust, Craven District Council, and the Harold & Alice Bridges Charity.
Ingleborough Estate (our landlord), Clapham Development Association and the Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust have also provided a lot of support.
We re-opened the shop in March 2015.
Our management committee
Seven local residents are on the voluntary management committee, including four residents who were on the shop’s initial management committee (shown above) which developed the proposal for a community shop. Between us we have a wide range of experience and expertise which will enable the shop to build on its successful start.
Shareholders elected the new management committee at our first Annual General Meeting, held on Wednesday 1 July.
The AGM minutes and our accounts for 2014-15 are available from the Downloads page.