After many months of detailed studies and negotiation the villagers of Uley have new owners for their shop: themselves.

When the only store left in Uley was threatened with closure as the owners wanted to sell up, the locals joined forces to drive a Save our Shop campaign.

The best option was a community enterprise, owned and run by the village and the steering committee recruited Gloucestershire Rural Community Council and the Plunkett Foundation to support the campaign.

The committee sent out a plea to residents, including outlying hamlets of Owlpen, Elcombe and Shadwell, to buy shares and make donations to help re-launch the shop as a thriving and sustainable business and to retain the heart of the community.

300 people responded, raising nearly £50,000 in just six weeks. Shop staff and volunteer workers were sought and on Monday 2 July the store seamlessly began trading as Uley Community Stores.

With further grants the store will begin a programme of refurbishment and expanded ranges.

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