Community takes over Lurgashall shop and Post Office

ks180412-2 Lurgashall Shop  phot kate'Outside Lurgashall shop from left: directors Sophie Jowett, Malcolm Caird and Hennie Cooper, volunteer Lesley Bartlett and Elly Barnett-Higgins, and shop manager.ks180412-2 SUS-180821-185748008
ks180412-2 Lurgashall Shop phot kate'Outside Lurgashall shop from left: directors Sophie Jowett, Malcolm Caird and Hennie Cooper, volunteer Lesley Bartlett and Elly Barnett-Higgins, and shop manager.ks180412-2 SUS-180821-185748008

It’s all change at Lurgashall Village Shop and Post Office where the community has taken over the running of the store.

Lurgashall Village Shop Limited was set up in March with six directors and more than 30 villagers volunteering to man the till and help in other ways.

Chairman Sophie Jowett said: “The owners have given us a commercial lease.

“The Post Office is about to carry out renovations and we are planning to do a total refurbishment of the shop next year.

“We took it over because there was a lot of support to make it work as a traditional village shop.

“It is going very well and we are using as many local suppliers as we can.

“We are thrilled to also be keeping the Post Office.”

The community has appointed Elly Barnett-Higgins to manage the shop.

An application has now been submitted to South Downs planners to separate the shop from the house at the Grade II listed building on the village green.

A statement to the planning authority said: “The current owners have owned the property for four years. In April 2018 their tenants left after running the shop and Post Office and residing in the adjoining house for 17 years.”

It had become clear the commercial leasing arrangement was no longer viable and that an new way should be found to safeguard the building.

Following considerable consultation in Lurgashall including two public meetings, it was clear said the statement: “there is overwhelming support from the local community to take over and run the village shop.”

Last week, the Post Office announced the Lurgashall branch would be closed for five days for modernisation to replace the old-style full-screen counter and with a modern-full screened counter alongside a new retail counter. New chiller units will also be installed and new signage and shelving.