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Normandy Village Shop And Café Hits The Jackpot With £518k Award From Surrey

Published on: 15 Dec, 2021
Updated on: 16 Dec, 2021

By Hugh Coakley

The Normandy Village Shop & Café hit the jackpot when it was awarded a huge £518,000 at the end of November 2021 to build a new shop and café in the village.

It is one of the first grants made by SCC from the £100 million Your Fund Surrey scheme set up in 2020 to finance local community projects.

Initial plans for the exterior of the Normandy Shop & Cafe, planned to open in 2022.

The new facility, to be built at Manor Fruit Farm in Normandy alongside the village hall, Therapy Garden and archery and bowls clubs, is planned to open in 2022.

Bob Hutton was excited with the news of the award.

Excited with the news, Bob Hutton, the chair of Normandy Community Shop and Café, said: “Residents of Normandy can now look forward to having a shop and café in the village, owned by the community, run by the community and for the benefit of the community.

“Normandy has had no shop, pub or café for some years now, so this will reinforce the community spirit that has increased over the two years that the project has been running.”

Karen Dunn, one of a team of seven volunteers who have run the project, said before applying to the fund, they had raised over £95,000 in less than six weeks by selling community shares. More than 280 villagers invested in the shares.

Karen Dunn, said: “The village was buzzing with interest.”

She said: “The village was buzzing with interest.

“Community-owned businesses are a successful way of bringing shops, cafés and pubs to rural areas. There are currently over 300 community shops across the UK, with a survival rate after five years of operation at over 90% compared to traditional small retailers’ rate of just over 40%.”

Local county councillor, Keith Witham (Con) said: “After years of hard work and preparation, it’s now all systems go. The organising committee have put in a huge amount of time and effort in developing the project, thank you to everyone involved.

“The Normandy project has shown what’s possible.”

A local shop example inspiring the Normandy Shop & Cafe.

SCC cabinet member for Communities Mark Nuti (Con) said: “This project was exactly what we were looking for when the fund was first launched back in November 2020. This is a truly inspiring scheme that involves and benefits all the community. There has been a huge local backing for the project both financially and with volunteers helping to bring this to life.

Cllr Keith Witham said: “It’s all systems go.”

“Thousands of residents will benefit from being able to shop locally, enjoying the best that the local produce has to offer and be able to meet and chat over a coffee. Residents will not have to drive miles to shop helping the environment and the space is there to be used by all. We asked Surrey to ‘Think Big’ and Normandy did!”

To come up with a community project idea, Surrey residents are encouraged to speak to their local councillor, community groups, neighbours and friends about what could be achieved in their area and what ideas might already be being developed. Full details and the interactive map can be found at www.surreycc.gov.uk/yourfund.

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