The Barrowden and Wakerley Community Shop was set up as a result of the Parish Plan which urged the provision of a shop once again. It is staffed entirely by volunteers alongside our full-time Manager, David Lewis. Our aim is to provide a first-class shopping experience with high-quality goods at competitive prices for residents of Barrowden and Wakerley and all nearby villages. We also welcome those passing through our lovely village when walking the Jurassic Way or the Rutland Round or cycling in the area or simply visiting in the area.
We are supplied by many small local businesses whose goods you will not find in many other places. We believe our prices are competitive with most other local stores at their regular prices – please see our price comparison page. Better still, come and see for yourself!
Remember, you do not need to drive into a town, find a parking place or walk significant distances between car and store. And here you can also meet up with neighbours, enjoy a cup of coffee, or tea or chocolate, in our friendly bistro cafe, or outside at a table in the sunshine, admire our special garden and enjoy Barrowden's fresh air.
Barrowden and Wakerley Parish Plan
In February 2004, Barrowden Parish Council commissioned research for a Parish Plan as proposed by a Government initiative. In a joint venture with Wakerley, volunteers conducted the lengthy survey required to understand the needs, hopes and opinions of the community.
Former Village Shop and Post Office
One major concern in the Parish Plan was for action to replace the village shop which had closed in December 2004 after the death of the owner aged 93. In order to explore the possibilities, a public meeting, sponsored by the Parish Council, was held in May 2005 in the Village Hall. The field worker for Village Retail Shops Association and the Rural Community Council officer explained the options available to the village.
Community Shop Steering Group Survey
A group of eleven volunteered to explore these options. The Parish Plan had 187 requests which indicated wide support but it was decided it was wise to obtain more details of people’s hopes. A survey was devised, after considerable consultation, both delivered and collected from every household. 82% positive adult response, (only 8 negative forms were returned) 100% positive young peoples response. 62 households offered financial support and 19 volunteered to serve in the shop. There were lots of suggestions for what should be stocked and interesting ideas for the community social aspect.
Site for Shop
We identified nine possible options. Most people wanted it near the Village Pub or Village Hall. We consulted owners of the identified sites and buildings, then visited the Rutland Senior Planning Officer with possible options.
Rutland Senior Planning Officer’s Advice
The site favoured by the planning officer was near the Village Hall on land owned by the Burghley Estate. The doctor’s surgery is also on the site. The proposed site was outside of the registered ‘important open space’ and was in no way any asset to the village. The Planning officer preferred this site to enhance the village facilities adjacent to the Village Hall and Doctors’ surgery. The Highway Authority favoured the inclusion of a footpath from King’s Lane to Wakerley Road.
There were many other consultations with the Parish Council for Barrowden and the Parish Meeting in Wakerley, our County Councillors, the Village Hall Committee, the Practice Partners of the doctor’s surgery, the neighbours and a number of consultations with the Planning Officer.
Village Shop Forum March 2006
A village forum was held in March when about 120 people attended on a Saturday morning. This was an excellent opportunity of sharing more of the concept of a community shop being a shop owned by the community for the community and also to discuss the design and use of the site. A number of suggestions from this forum were incorporated in the next set of proposals. There were regular monthly updates in the parish magazine to keep the community informed of the progress and to give opportunity to contribute to the explorations.
On Going Progress
Capital funding for the building and preparation of a sloping site to meet the criteria of the planning and highways authority was always a challenging task.
Planning Permission was granted in July 2006 by Rutland County Council for a modular building for 20 years. A revision was required in September 2007 to account for the changed area of land from the Burghley Estate. A lease from the Burghley Estate Governors for 21 years was confirmed in July 2008.
In September 2006 an application was submitted to the Big Lottery Fund for the Community Building Programme. It was encouraging to be invited to the second stage with a very comprehensive application and interviews. Finally in February 2008 notification was received that no money would be granted. This was a devastating blow!
A further encouraging survey of the village enabled the steering group to press on. Much hard work exploring endless possible sources of funding resulted in sufficient funds being secured for the purchase of a new building and the necessary ground works.
Volunteers have worked amazingly hard right from the early preparation and planting of the site. There were fundraising events and gifts and loans to finance the project. Additional funding was required for the complete fitting out of the building, and happily this was obtained.
June 2009. Great News
The building was on site: the Contractor’s part of the groundwork was now completed, and the land-scaping design and choice of planting started. Negotiations were successful with suppliers of equipment, including the EPOS system, and with food suppliers.
A manager was appointed, and started involvement a couple of months before trading began. To everyone’s great joy, and relief, the Shop opened its doors for business on Thursday 18th August 2009.
We invited Dr Lawrence Howard, Lord Lieutenant of Rutland, to mark the formal opening in November 2009, and the High Sheriff marked our first Anniversary in September 2010.
This is the first community shop in Rutland and the first on Burghley Estate land.