Cockburnspath Community Shop opened its doors in June 2021 and since then local residents have enthusiastically supported the project.
It was originally intended to be a temporary port, but it proved so popular that a planning application has now been submitted to the Scottish Borders Council to retain it on a permanent basis.
The numbers seem to indicate that the community is positive about the store’s future sustainability including the cost of the salaried staff – currently a manager, assistant and two local teenagers, all on a full-time basis.
Elspeth Paget, of Cockburnspath Community Enterprise, who placed the order, said: “Customers have become accustomed to the new location of the shop in the village and its proximity to the village hall, primary school, play area and football pitch and it works well.
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The Community Action Plan was published by the Community Council shortly after the store opened, after the COVID pandemic delayed.
Despite this delay, extensive consultations took place, as well as the indication of a strong desire to once again have a shop in the village, which led to a marked increase in activities in and around the village.
“It has also sparked ideas about the future of the area around the store and auditorium as a community hub and discussions are ongoing to explore this further.
“A number of groups are involved in the process and it will take some time to reach a conclusion on the best way forward that is acceptable to all.
“Until a plan for this is fully worked out, it would be beneficial to keep the store in its current state.”
The store’s success has been recognized with the annual EBDA (Eastern Frontier Development Association) Award 2022, which rewards excellence in community living.
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