The original shop, opened in 2009, on a temporary site within a Portakabin, in the village car park. Staffed and managed by a team of more than 50 volunteers, the shop’s business grew and it became a valued and indispensable part of village life. However, understandably, the council wanted the car parking spaces back and the search was on for a new, permanent shop site. Eventually after nearly two years, suitable premises were identified, £175,000 was raised, enabling premises to be purchased and transformed from an old warehouse into a stylish and spacious new shop and post office. Local builders and locally sourced timber were used in the construction and all the interior decoration and shop fitting have been carried out by local volunteers – a real community effort.
Ide is a remarkable village. Over half the funding has been raised locally, mainly through a Community Share scheme, that invited local people to invest in the shop. This attracted £70,000 in less than a month. This enabled matched funding to be applied for from Village SOS – Lottery funding (£50K) and other grant funds.
The new shop opened its doors for business in February 2013 and the whole village and neighbouring villagers, contractors, suppliers, funders and elected representatives were invited to a Community Launch Event to celebrate the successful conclusion of this massive project.
The scale of this achievement is put into context by the fact that Ide is a tiny village with only 450 inhabitants. Yet the way in which people have come together, to support the ambitious goal of securing a permanent and sustainable shop for the village is amazing, one that has evoked enormous pride and an increased sense of community, while delivering a legacy for the future.