Christmas Fayre

We took the opportunity to have a stand at the Christmas Fayre on Saturday 4th December. Jim Henderson and John Stansfeld spoke to about thirty people about the project and there was a good level of interest.

We hope the interest will turn into pledges of support, either financial or volunteering – preferably both!

John and Jim at the Fayre with the pop-up stand

Project Update – 25th November

The Steering Group has worked really hard over the past month on various aspects of our Community Shop project. We received our Community Benefit Society registration on 17th November together with a FCA stamped and signed copy of the Model Rules that we submitted. We are now applying for a bank account to enable us to start operating.

Our business plan has been looked at by a local Community Shop and they have given us some positive feedback.  Our business plan is an essential tool in our forthcoming applications for external grant funding. We submitted an Expression of Interest to the Community Shares Booster Programme for a development grant and have been called to make a full application. The total amount we can apply for is £5k. We have also had an initial conversation with Kent Community Foundation to explore our eligibility for their KSELF loan/grant package (Kent Social Enterprise Loan Fund). The Parish Council have awarded us a development grant of £500 in addition to potential further funding of a capital item. We will also be applying to Kent County Council for a grant.

We have progressed building options and build costings and hope to have sketch plans available within the coming weeks. Rosie and Sean have submitted their recommendations re our proposed shop layout and we will take their suggestions on board.

We met with two members of the Memorial Hall Committee on 21 October to further discuss the legalities of having the shop on MH land. We will be working on a ground lease agreement between the Memorial Hall and Frittenden Stores in the coming weeks. Getting clarity and certainty on these items is a necessary pre-requisite to any application for Planning Permission, which we will be making shortly.

We will be organising a further communication with the village this year to increase awareness of the project throughout our community and increase our pledges of financial support.

We still have a long way to go, so if you haven’t managed to respond yet, head over to the response form on this website.

Many thanks again for the ongoing support and encouragement.

Project Update – 19th October

Thank you to all who have already pledged to buy shares, make a donation, be a corporate sponsor or offer a loan. So far following only one community event YOU our community has pledged £52,000. Amazing….

This is a great start but there is still a long way to go, so if you haven’t managed to respond yet, here is a link to the response form.

Our official Share Issue will be in early 2021 and further information about this process will be made available nearer the time.

Our application to register our legal entity in the form of a Community Benefit Society has been filed with the Plunkett Foundation and will be registered with the Financial Conduct Authority. This is a big step. Once the CBS is in place we can apply for a bank account.

We have been finalising our business plan and this will be an essential tool in our forthcoming applications for external grant funding. We have identified 3 charitable trusts to whom we will be applying within this calendar year.  

We are also exploring building options and hope to have some sketch plans available later in the year. Rosie will be working with us on layout and giving us her significant insight into how a village shop works. Sean continues to share financial data with us which is really helpful.

Sara Cremer who is relatively new to the village has joined our team. She has extensive marketing experience and her input into this project will be invaluable. We will be looking at additional fundraising/community events to increase awareness of the project throughout our community.

Many thanks again for your support and encouragement.

Summary of progress from May 2019 to September 2020

From May 2019 – September 2020 many activities have taken place to progress the project

May 2019 – Parish council member forms Frittenden Community Shop & Café  Committee  (FCS&CC)

June 2019 – Plunkett Foundation contacted and application made for support (The Plunkett Foundation supports rural communities to establish community projects).

June 2019 – Plunkett Foundation application accepted and 15 hours of support allocated to project

July 2019 – Village Survey including parents with children at primary & pre-school

September 2019 – village survey results collated

Summer/Autumn 2019 – Barham, Chart Sutton, Benenden community shops visited to meet management teams

Autumn 2019 – consultation with Gulland Solicitors regarding location of shop on Memorial Hall land given its charitable status

Autumn 2019 – Location of community shop finalised on Memorial Hall land

November 2019 – Public meeting by FCS&CC to present survey results

December 2019 – Presentation by FCS&CC  to Memorial Hall on scope of project

January 2020 – Meeting with Eileen Bridges from Acorn Stores

January 2020 – Quotation requests for buildings sent out

January 2020 – 15 hours of Plunkett support taken with local advisor from ACRE

February 2020 – Study visit organised with a Plunkett advisor to meet management team at Detling Community Shop

Spring 2020 – Steering group with key skills formed within FCS&CC

Spring 2020 – Pre application planning meeting with TWBC

Spring 2020 – Preparation for community event cancelled due to COVID-19

Summer 2020 – Compilation of financial figures for shop (profit & loss, cashflow forecasts, capital expenditure etc)

Summer 2020 – Discussions with Sean & Rosie Croucher re Stable Stores operation and future plans 

Summer 2020 – additional funded support allocated by Plunkett following COVID-19. 

Summer 2020 – meetings with Plunkett to discuss project timeline, forming a Community Benefit Society, and external funding possibilities

September 2020 – launch of Community shop website

September 2020 – reconvened community event