The Village Shop will close unless somebody steps forward.

Christopher’s Village Shop ion Eyhorne Street is likely close for good at the end of March unless somebody steps forward to run it as a business or a group operates it as a community shop. The shop is the only convenience store between Bearsted and Sittingbourne and is a lifeline to many local residents.

Christopher Rudgard last year announced his intention to retire in March last year and so far nobody has taken on the reins of running the shop which supplies newspapers, some groceries and other items, provides a base for the weekly post office, and acts a as a delivery point for parcels. Mr Paul Teague, the landlord, has publicly committed to renting out the shop at £100 per week including building insurance for the ground floor premises. The upstairs flat is not affected.

Many other villages faced with the same problem have started community shops and have received advice from Kent Rural Retailers and more information is at http://kentruralretailers.co.uk

Nationally villages have sought help from the Plunkett Foundation which has helped hundreds of communities to run shops. More information is at:

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The matter is to be discussed at the Hollingbourne Parish Council Meeting at 7.30pm in the Cardwell Pavilion on Monday 13h February. All are welcome.