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.