Village shop and post office could close
Furnace Village Store and Post Office is set to close at the end of the year unless someone can be found to carry on the business.
The shop, with its three-bedroom bungalow behind, has been owned and managed by Mike and Syb Masters for the past 18 years. With retirement in mind, the business was put on the market nearly three years ago, but to date a buyer has not been found.
With their longed-for retirement date now past, Mike and Syb took the decision to close the shop if a buyer could not be found by the end of the year.
News of the closure was greeted with dismay by the community, many of whom rely heavily on the shop and post office.
Furnace Community SCIO, which manages the village hall, decided to act to try to save the shop. An application has been lodged with the Scottish Land Fund to try to buy the shop and bungalow for the community and look for a tenant prepared to rent the business and keep this vital community service going.
While early signs are that the application might be looked on favourably, a tenant urgently needs to be identified if the funding is to be secured.
It is hoped that someone from the surrounding area might be interested in taking on the business and taking it forward in the long term.
Andrea Henderson, who is co-ordinating the community effort to buy the shop, said: ‘The loss of our village shop and post office would be a great blow to the community, especially for those without transport who would need to make the 15-mile round trip to the nearest shop in Inveraray.
‘Local businesses also rely on the shop for its post office and wide range of goods on offer and would be greatly inconvenienced if they had to travel further for supplies.
‘We really hope that our grant will be approved and we can find someone to keep our village shop going.’
Anyone interested in leasing the shop should contact Andrea by email on email@example.com
The Furnace shop and post office could close unless a new tenant can be found.