VIL­LAGE STORE SAVED

EDP Norfolk - - The Mardler -

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.

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