Community bid to buy shop and post office in Cononley

First published in News

A campaign could be launched in Cononley to purchase the village post office and shop.

Cononley Parish Council will meet on Tuesday to consider whether the community should take on the shop, which is located at the junction of Main Street and Crosshills Road.

The shop has been up for sale for the past two years, and discussions have been ongoing since October about the possibility of the community buying it.

Cononley Parish Council chairman, Councillor Lois Brown, said: “We wouldn’t be doing it as a parish council because it would be a commercial enterprise, but we can be a catalyst for such a project.”

Coun Brown and the parish clerk, Stephanie Wheelhouse, have carried out fact-finding discussions and visited other community-owned shops, such as the one in Burton-in-Lonsdale.

“This is only in the early stages, and our next step is to consult with villagers through a community survey,” added Coun Brown.

The survey would have two aims – to find out whether the community wishes to retain the shop and in what format, and to look for potential members of the community who might be interested in being involved in such a venture.

The council has also contacted the Plunkett Foundation, which helps rural villages set up community-owned shops or co-operative pubs.

“One of the things that’s important to people in Cononley is the post office and shop because it’s there for the community,” said Coun Brown. “The idea of a community-owned shop is exciting, but something like this needs backing.”

The meeting will be held in the village institute at 7pm.

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