Village store scoops award for North

NAWN 1712191AM Church Fenton Community Shop. Jo Mason (right) with fellow volunteers Pam Cope, Anne Spensley, Gary Monkmanand Lucy Bennett.(1712191AM)
NAWN 1712191AM Church Fenton Community Shop. Jo Mason (right) with fellow volunteers Pam Cope, Anne Spensley, Gary Monkmanand Lucy Bennett.(1712191AM)

A store run entirely by volunteers has scooped a prestigious regional award.

Countryside Alliance North of England Best Village Shop/Post Office Award was handed to Church Fenton after battling it out over several thousand applications and four finalists.

The store was created early last year when the village realised that the owners wished to retire and just four weeks after it was closed villagers had organised a team to reopen it.

Church Fenton Community Shop spokesman Jane Hardman-Ferris said: “We formed a business planning team and on the back of their excellent business plan and with the blessing of the Parish Council and the villagers of Church Fenton and the retired owners, we applied for and have been granted a mortgage from the government to purchase the premises for the village.

“The shop is manned fully by volunteer villagers. We’ve utilised the talents of various villagers from retail backgrounds, to accountants, solicitors, architects and many others to pull this project together.”

“We entered the Countryside Alliance Awards as we were nominated by a villager…many forms later plus a visit from an experienced judge from the Countryside Alliance and we are here!

The store now goes through to the grand final at the House of Lords on April 25.