Unique Pilot Project Provides Funding And Support For Community Food Shops

Find out about running your own local food shop

Our Urban Shop is a unique pilot project that will help urban communities overcome the issue of accessing good food and everyday provisions, through community-owned shops. The project will provide funding and advice to communities co-ordinated by community-ownership experts the Plunkett Foundation and Locality, and is funded by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation.

The project is an opportunity for communities in Wandsworth to address the challenges they experience and find out how together they can run their own local food shops. The pilot will include a programme of inspiring events, enterprise support including specialist advice and resources, and financial help including grants, fundraising guidance and loan-provision. The programme will run for two years.

Plunkett’s Chief Executive Peter Couchman said: “At Plunkett we predominantly work with rural communities and due to our success requests for our help and support for communities in urban areas for pubs, shops and food enterprises are increasingly more common. We’re therefore delighted to launch Our Urban Shop to help a new generation of community-owned shops in urban areas, working alongside our friends at Locality and the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation.” 

Steve Wyler, CEO at Locality, said: “Many of our members have experience of running successful community-owned shops and we’ve helped many more through the Community Rights support service. This pilot is a wonderful opportunity to demonstrate the potential of local enterprise in urban areas, sourcing and selling food which will have health as well as economic benefits with the profits being invested back into the community. It will contribute to revitalising the high street and we very much look forward to working with the Plunkett Foundation and Esmée Fairbairn Foundation.”

Our Urban Shop is callingon people who live in Wandsworth to share their experiences of buying food in their local area. The project organisers want to hear from residents who are facing challenges when shopping for food and everyday provisions. Has the local shop closed-down? Do residents struggle to get affordable and healthy local food?  Communities can share their experiences and express an interest in Our Urban Shop by 5.00pm on Monday 16 June by visiting www.communityshops.coop/urban or by calling 01993 810730. Plunkett will then be in touch with further details on how to participate in the pilot.

To-date 314 community-owned shops and 26 co-operative pubs have opened. Further information on the Plunkett Foundation’s support for community-owned village shops can be accessed on www.communityshops.coop and co-operative pubs at www.pubs.coop.


May 2, 2014