VILLAGE STORE SAVED
The village of Itteringham has been celebrating victory in a campaign to keep its shop open, a battle won after a bold intervention by North Norfolk District Council.
The popular store, run by community volunteers since 1994, was given six months to vacate by the owners so that the building could be sold. After a vocal campaign in the media, NNDC stepped in and bought the shop and next-door Fair Meadow House.
The volunteers will continue to rent the shop and the house will be a holiday let, giving the council income from its investment. There was a celebration at the shop to mark the good news, with villagers, friends and councillors joining in.
Volunteer and committee member Mike Hemsley said it was a day he didn’t think would happen. “We would never have though this was possible,” he said. “But North Norfolk District Council saved the day. This goes beyond the community – it is important for the independent suppliers as well and a lifeline to those who have lost their retail outlets elsewhere.”
District councillor Annie Claussen Reynolds, who took the idea to NNDC’s cabinet, said: “It’s really a lifeline for the village, so I’m ecstatic it has turned out like this.”
The long-term plan is for the community association to buy the freehold for the shop, which has existed in one form or another for almost four centuries.