Vil­lage shop and post of­fice could close

Argyllshire Advertiser - - NEWS -

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 am.hen­der­son@pow­der­

The Fur­nace shop and post of­fice could close un­less a new ten­ant can be found.

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