Hurst Green Community Shop is a community-led project in rural Sussex to buy and convert a former church into a grocery store and drop-in centre for young and old.
This case exemplifies the shift from community fundraising to community investment. In the past, efforts to save the last retail store in a village, has usually relied on local gifts, donations and fundraising events. Hurst Green is planning a community share offer, which it hopes will raise far more money than it could using charitable methods. Having invested in the shop, local members are more likely to use the shop as customers and support the shop as volunteer workers, thus strengthening the sustainability of the enterprise.
The community have an opportunity to obtain the disused Catholic church in Station Road for use as a community run shop and post office. There are numerous reasons why this would be of benefit to the village and not just as a village shop. Located in Station Road between the Village Hall and the Recreation Ground obtaining this building will place the facilities away from the busy A21 and closer to the main residential areas additionally improving safety and also reducing congestion on the A21.
The main area is a good size for a shop and Post Office with potential to include other facilities to enhance the village economy and promote enterprise. A small cafe area is planned equiped with Internet access for informal meetings or just a chat over a coffee.