Directory of community-owned village shops goes interactive
An online directory of community-owned shops in England, Scotland and Wales is being developed.
The Village Retail Services Association (ViRSA)’s directory now has an individual page for each shop.
The aim of the directory is that information and the sharing of experiences can help other villages hoping to set up and run a community owned shop and to support existing shops. It also provides a platform to advertise shops to potential customers.
ViRSA is a national charity dedicated to supporting villages wanting to set up and run a community owned shop. There are now around 150 community owned shops trading in England. Most of these have been established with ViRSA’s support.
The organisation argues that Community ownership is often the only viable option for villages wishing to retain or introduce a local shop. It provides practical assistance through this website, a network of community retail advisers, a national office and various publications.
ViRSA is now an activity of the Plunkett Foundation, a charity which aims to improve rural livelihoods through cooperation and social enterprise. ViRSA was founded in 1992 in Dorset following the successful start up of a community owned shop in the village of Halstock.
It is now based in Woodstock, Oxfordshire with a network of community retail advisers who possess unique knowledge of rural shop-keeping and community development. It says its strength lies not only in the individual skills of itsadvisers, but in their ability to share each others’ knowledge and experience.
The directory of community owned shops trading in England, Scotland and Wales can be found at www.virsa.org. Currently there are only five entries from Scotland. Additions and corrections are welcomed.
Source: Social Enterprise Coalition