Weakest Link celebrity, Anne Robinson officially opened her new local Coln St Aldwyns community enterprise today. She was joined by many other local residents including actor David Mallinson, to celebrate the refurbishment and re-opening of the local store which faced closure last year.
Residents, faced with the closure of their valued village stores in October 2012, came together and raised over £100,000 to save the much loved shop and post office. Coln Community Stores is now owned by more than 230 shareholders from the villages of Coln St Aldwyns, Quenington and Hatherop – a move which sees the building come full circle as it operated as a co-operative from 1889 to 1954.
Philip Evans, chairman of Coln Community Stores explained: “Having a shop in this village is about more than convenience, some older shop customers are simply unable to travel and depend entirely on the shop here in Coln St Aldwyns for their basic provisions. When we set up a community group, the response was overwhelming. Our first call for volunteers to form a committee revealed the breadth of skills and levels of enthusiasm locally. Our second call to raise funds by asking villagers to buy shares in the community enterprise revealed not only local generosity, but also the commitment people have to preserving and protecting this important and much loved community resource.”