After our initial redesign of the foundations to counter the highest water table in 135 years and the deepest snowfall for 145 years, building has proceeded apace. The structure is built, the handsome lantern crowns the roof and the wooden cladding in place. All we need to do now is to wait until the moisture content of the floor screeds becomes low enough to enable the vinyl flooring to be laid. By the time you read this, we should be complete and the shop-fitting well on its way. Phil Jones has masterminded all of this and we owe him a huge debt of gratitude.
Celia Collett, Corinne Jones and their team are hard at work selecting stock and suppliers and co-ordinating the multitude of other tasks needed to get the shop up and running. The great news is that a Stores Manager has been recruited to start in the middle of June and she will be finalising all the many details with the help of the Operating Team. Volunteers are being organised – two and a half hour slots seem to be the popular length of time – and training sessions arranged. All you who volunteered will be contacted; anyone who has not yet come forward do contact Madeline Sanger on 833655.
David Dobbin’s team have now completed their fundraising task and held their last meeting in June. They raised (with Gift Aid) over £75,000 from the village, a magnificent total. Many thanks to them, to all you villagers and to the Community Association – what a village we live in! Now our task is to manage the cash flow from the funders and the ever-present VAT.
The usual provisos (weather, hung parliaments etc!) apply but our timetable now looks as if we will finish the building around the end of May. Shop-fitting, initial negotiations and stocking will take us through June and July and we should be able to have a “soft” opening at the end of July or the beginning of August. We will iron out some of the initial challenges during August and plan to have a Grand Gala Opening during September. Everybody will be notified and we hope that everybody will come!
When we have been up and running for a few months we aim to have a public feedback meeting to see what we can improve. This may coincide with our first AGM when you will have a chance to elect the management team to take the Stores triumphantly forward.
Ready and counting……ten….nine…
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