Lo­cal buyer to re­open his­toric co-op

Albany Advertiser - - NEWS - Saskia Adysti

The roller­coaster ride to save the 98-year-old Katan­ning Co-op­er­a­tive shop has taken an­other loop, with the store ex­pected to re­open af­ter a lo­cal buyer pur­chased it.

As re­vealed last week, Katan­ning’s BKW Co-op­er­a­tive shop was re­view­ing a new of­fer from a po­ten­tial lo­cal buyer af­ter clos­ing its doors on Septem­ber 15.

BKW Co-op ad­min­is­tra­tor Neil Cribb has since in­formed­mem­bers that Adrian Richard­son’s of­fer to pur­chase the co-op has been suc­cess­ful.

“On be­half of Mr Adrian Richard­son rep­re­sent­ing the pur­chas­ing par­ties, we are pleased to ad­vise an in-prin­ci­ple con­di­tional agree­ment has been reached for the pur­chase of select resid­ual stock, plant and equip­ment, and land and build­ings,” he said.

“The par­ties will now move to pre­pare le­gal doc­u­men­ta­tion to for­malise the agree­ments and rel­e­vant terms and condi- tions.” Mr Richard­son, who moved to Katan­ning in 1984 and was ap­pointed as the in­au­gu­ral trea­surer for Katan­ning Land­care in 1990, said he would be look­ing to re­open the store in five weeks.

“In that time, we will be look­ing to im­prove and change the store lay­out,” he said.

“I’ve been over­whelmed by the sup­port from the com­mu­nity and also sup­port from lo­cal in­vestors who are pre­pared to fi­nan­cially back the pur­chase.

“We are go­ing to re­tain the name and call the build­ing ‘Co-op Shop­ping Com­plex’ but it will no longer trade as BKW Co-op trad­ing.”

Mr Richard­son said he had re­ceived fi­nan­cial sup­port from lo­cal busi­ness groups in Katan­ning, Broome­hill and Woodanilling, who were ral­ly­ing to save the co-op.

Their ini­tial of­fer was re­jected by the ad­min­is­tra­tor but their sec­ond of­fer proved to be suc­cess­ful.

“All these lo­cal busi­ness groups ral­lied to save the co-op be­cause Katan­ning des­per­ately needs to have this type of re­tail busi­ness in town,” Mr Richard­son said.

“The so­cial and com­mu­nity as­pect of the co-op is un­like any­thing com­pared to any other stores in town. “There’s no other shop like it.” Mr Richard­son said Va­lerie Hair Sa­lon and Emu Lane Cafe had in­di­cated their re­turn to the shop­ping com­plex as well.

He said he was look­ing for­ward to re­open­ing the store with new stock to of­fer cus­tomers.

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