Lesbury Village Shop reveals successful initial period since opening

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The Lesbury Village Shop committee are delighted with their successful first run over what was expected to be a ‘slow’ season.

The shop opened as a community-run service in August, after the previous Post Office and shop closed and left locals without a convenient place to get their essentials.

Volunteers had formed a steering group to take steps to reopen the shop as a community-owned and run, non-profit-taking, shop with community-focused services.

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And it has proved to be a hit with both locals and visitors.

The shop has been thriving in the village and locals are glad to have it back.The shop has been thriving in the village and locals are glad to have it back.
The shop has been thriving in the village and locals are glad to have it back.

With the majority of the trading being done over the slower winter months, the committee members are happy to report that their trade has been doing exceptionally well, according to their accountant.

Julie Hall, a Lesbury parish councillor and shop committee member, said: "For many retail businesses December, November, January and February are often difficult months. We've not found it difficult and I think it's because we're obviously serving the community and the community are using and valuing the shop.

“Lesbury is becoming a destination to visit,” she added.

Aligning with their community focus, the members are always keen to keep raising funds to put into the shop and community.

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The latest fundraiser was a fully-attended evening with Dr John Edwards, who talked about his time in Antarctica and educated on how the continent’s tourism and landscape has changed over the last 50 years. The event was held at the Lesbury Community Hall and raised £620 for the shop.

Julie added: “We're focusing on fun activities which promote the shop but engage people as well to make it the heart of the community.”

The team were also nominated for the Best of Northumberland Award in the Business in The Community category and the Countryside Alliance award and although they didn’t win, the recognition meant a lot to the committee.

The shop is constantly growing and thinking of new ideas to get locals involved. They have a strong team of 45 volunteers – and would be happy to welcome newcomers – and sell products from 23 local suppliers and have made over 27,000 transactions since opening.