Vil­lage shop clo­sure fears

Lack of sup­port raises doubts about busi­ness

The Galloway News - - UNCERTAIN FUTURE - Stephen Nor­ris

The shop and sub- post of­fice in Auchen­cairn is in dan­ger of clos­ing.

The fu­ture had seemed bright af­ter a tea­room opened in the premises in March.

It was hoped the new ven­ture would bring a boost in trade for the busi­ness un­der sub–post­mistress Ali­son Parker.

But on­go­ing lack of cus­tom and staff changes have cast doubts over whether it can con­tinue.

Ali­son said: “We have been strug­gling for years and are still strug­gling. It is re­ally dif­fi­cult and some­times you get to the stage of ask­ing why are we here.

“A lot of folk don’t use the shop. That’s up to them. We can’t make them use it. But if it’s not sup­ported we just can’t go on. I don’t know what the fu­ture holds.”

The tea­room is now un­der new man­age­ment af­ter the pre­vi­ous oc­cu­pant gave up. The dis­rup­tion did the busi­ness no favours.

Ali­son said: “Af­ter the lassie left a lot of folk stopped com­ing for a while. We lost the work­men and the hoil­day­mak­ers who we re­ally re­lied on.

“Now we need a bit more sup­port and more cus­tomers com­ing through the door. We are not ask­ing folk to do all their shop­ping here – just to buy a few more items.”

She added: “The way its go­ing we’ll end up like Rhone­house and Gel­ston which have noth­ing. Peo­ple just jump in their cars and go to Tesco.”

Kel­ton woman Lindsy Bruce has stepped in to run the tea­room for a trial pe­riod.

She pays a small rent to the shop for leas­ing the space and of­fers break­fasts, home-bak­ing and hot bev­er­ages.

Cur­rent de­mand means open­ing hours are re­stricted to Wed­nes­day to Sat­ur­day, 8am to 2pm.

Mrs Bruce also has to jug­gle the tea­room with her other job as a sup­port worker.

She said: “I only took over five weeks ago and it has its ups and downs. I said I’d do it for three months and see how it goes.

“Af­ter that point I will make a de­ci­sion on whether or not to con­tinue.”

She added: “We do ad­ver­tise but have no sig­nage. Maybe peo­ple don’t know we’re here be­cause we are part of the shop.”

Idea Ali­son Parker at the open­ing of the tea­room

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.