Cononley Post Office and shop will be bought by the community if a private buyer does not step forward.

Villagers at a public meeting last Thursday voted unanimously to form a steering group and to go ahead with a community purchase of the premises.

The move followed a recent survey, which had 200 replies, and indicated overwhelming support for keeping a shop and post office in the village.

There has also been a massive response from volunteers keen to be involved in the steering committee, to help with fundraising and publicity and to potentially buy shares in a community company to raise the funds to buy the shop.

However it has been agreed that if a private purchaser is found, the community will step back.

Parish council chairman Coun Lois Brown said: “It’s fantastic the way the community has responded and we are very hopeful now that the shop and post office will continue in Cononley, in private or community hands.”

The next step will be for the parish council to contact those who gave their details and to form a committee.

It is also expected a number of sub-committees will be set up to consider topics such as the corporate structure, supply chains and financing.

Anyone else who thinks they may be able to contribute should contact the clerk on (01535) 631094 or e-mail

It is expected the steering committee will meet within a month.