In these times not only does a local shop stock essential supplies, it acts as a hub and meeting place for village life which is no longer about local jobs, nearby extended families and the closed environment it once was.
Fewer families have their roots here, most have their own cars and travel to supermarkets and superstores for their weekly groceries and many more need to travel further afield for employment. The internet has changed forever the way people shop for goods and communicate with friends and family.
While people are more mobile, can work from home or live more flexible lives with greater freedoms, the population is growing as we live longer and there are therefore many older people and single people making up greater proportions of our communities. They are more reliant on local shops and services, where they can shop more wisely and frequently, keep in touch and enjoy a more sociable experience.
Uley has a population of 1155 of whom nearly one third are aged over 60 years, half of whom are over 70 years, a significantly higher-than-average proportion of older people. They represent the biggest users of the shop and are the least able to access alternatives for their basic day-to-day needs.
By the same token there are numerous individuals working as sole traders or freelancers in the trades, creative and business industries who benefit from a networked community and who will pop to the local shop during their day of work.
A local village shop is the hub and heart of a community. It provides a network for different groups, offers additional services and provides local information.