We have been granted planning permission for extending Fittleworth Stores to provide a larger café and kitchen.
The extension is going to be a tremendous addition to the Stores. Before lockdown the café played such an important role in creating the community hub that was at the heart of our original vision for the Stores. It has been so satisfying seeing so many socialising with your neighbours and friends and bringing the village community to life. The Stores has been well used by those from the village but also by those from the surrounding hamlets and wider area. For the Shop Management team, it has been very frustrating that we were only able to provide a fair – weather facility, but this extension changes everything. We are planning to have about 12 tables plus a ‘dining’ table for 8 people. This will double our internal capacity. The kitchen will also be extended to support the new larger café and we will also be re-arranging the shop space to incorporate more frozen food display and generally to maximise the layout. The kitchen is so small that our volunteers and staff will breathe a huge sigh of relief when we have an adequately sized kitchen.
We are hoping to start construction on 1st September and open our new, larger cafe on 1st November. The schedule of work has been planned to minimise disruption to the Stores: the shop will be able to remain open throughout the build and any closure of the café will be very limited (we are hoping to only a handful of days).
We are very excited about seeing our new extended café taking shape but before that we have a lot of fundraising to do. We will need to raise about £90,000.
How can you help?
- Buy another share! It would be wonderful if each of our shareholders purchased another share (or, if you are in financial position to do so, a few more shares!). A share costs £25. We have around 260 shareholders in Fittleworth Stores. If every existing shareholder bought another share that would raise £6,500. If every existing shareholder bought another 3 shares that would raise £19,500.
- Spread the word! There are lots of people who have moved to the village and surrounding area since our initial share issue before the shop opened. Some missed out on buying shares in that first share round too. So, please do talk to your neighbours, friends and family about our plans and encourage those who aren’t currently shareholders to consider joining us.
- Donate! There is a box in store for your donations, all of which are greatly appreciated or, if you wish to donate a more substantial sum please contact Alison Welterveden on 01798 865650 or Mick Foote on 01798 865156
The share application form can be accessed here
Please do be aware that the total maximum holding is £1500 per person. So, if you would like to contribute towards our extension and already hold £1500 worth of shares or if your proposed contribution would take you in excess of this amount then you will need to donate direct to Fittleworth Stores for any sums in excess of the maximum shareholding.