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The pub in the centre of the Village, is heading in the same critical direction. At present there are two pubs (The Rose & Crown and the Royal Oak) and the only shop (The Village Stores) trading in the village, but all three businesses are for sale, and two of them have either applied for or received approval for change to residential.
As a result, concerned residents set up a community company, HOTV Stoke St Gregory Ltd, to pump life back into the heart of the village.The Heart of the Village project aims to buy the Royal Oak, transfer the shop into it and run both shop and pub. A unique feature of this particular enterprise is combining the shop AND pub.
Like many rural villages, Stoke St Gregory has an ageing population and limited opportunities for young families. A core aim of this Project is to help address these issues by providing more support and opportunities for both younger and older members of the community.
Spokesperson Graham Gleed said: the Heart of the Village project was set up as a Community Benefit Society to buy the Pub and incorporate the Shop into the Pub.
Thanks to many generous investors, we have raised £155,000 in community shares in just six months. We have already set up a (temporary) Shop in a Box.
Fundraising to date is now £200K and another £45K is expected by the middle of March, and then a few top-up grants to reach the overall target of £471K.
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