New Forest village East Boldre Community Shop news

East Boldre's Community Shop is progressing!

Another New Forest village is on track to keep its shop - and its post office - for a more locally sustainable future

19 November 2021

Now nearly 3 years after the mini tornado which hit national as well as local headlines and which battered and bruised East Boldre in perhaps a sign of things to come in many more places around the world, East Boldre is in the news again for another very topical and important reason: the preservation of the village shop for the future! Daily customers include those below...

East Boldre post office and stores - customers

East Boldre Community Shop: update on progress to date

East Boldre shop and post office - dogs waitingThe policies of the National Park and the district and county councils all support keeping local village amenities, such as shops. The contribution of a village shop to community cohesion and wellbeing is well documented, and East Boldre is now following in the footsteps of Minstead and other community shops which with the commitment of their communities are already successful on many levels.

The East Boldre initiative led by the East Boldre Community Shop (EBCS) team was and continues to be motivated by the many residents of East Boldre and neighbouring hamlets, for whom both the shop and the post office are important. For some residents the East Boldre village store is indeed the lifeline upon which they rely for the goods and services it provides.

All this is of course even more relevant into the future, as environmental concerns and our individual carbon footprints play ever greater parts in our thinking and behaviour.

EBCS has now won significant funding towards purchasing the property which has for decades contained the village shop and post office, for the benefit of the community for decades to come.

The Community Ownership Fund has awarded EBCS a grant of £0.25 million and the team has the support of all the local authorities of course too, because its aims align with their policies.

Update on recent news 

beaulieu lettersThe current owner’s planning application for residential use was part of exploration of his options going forward. This has now been refused by the National Park Authority and paves the way for a fair market value to be paid - and a good proportion of the finance for this is already in place. EBCS is continuing to discuss a way forward with the owner that would be beneficial to both parties.

As a community benefit society, EBCS is governed by strict rules - there is no means of financial gain for members. The management committee and the East Boldre Lane Reps who are the conduit for communications with the whole village are all unpaid volunteers working on behalf of the community.

EBCS will be paEast Boldre sunsetrt funded by a share offer. There are no dividends on these shares and shares cannot appreciate in value so there is no opportunity for individuals to profit.

Any shop profits will be reinvested into the business and, if there’s any surplus, members would vote on how this is distributed to other charitable community causes.

All very exciting for the future!

Note of clarification after recent reporting

The shop owner’s planning application to convert the building to solely residential use was considered at October’s parish council meeting. Based on advice from the local monitoring officer and the Hampshire Association of Local Councils, parish councillors who are involved in any way with the community shop project declared they had a non-financial interest in his planning application. As there was no possible personal financial gain for them they were allowed to discuss and vote on the matter. As the only councillor who is also a member of the shop management committee, Cllr Gabzdyl did not vote on the basis her views were predetermined.

Top photo thanks to East Boldre Parish Council; the village shop together with many East Boldre houses and cottages enjoys spectacular sunsets on a regular basis; the amazing Beaulieu Letters are a short walk from the shop! 

More information about the proposed community shop

Community shop website

East Boldre news which hit national headlines 

After the Tornado

Ponies to attack shopers (The village hall site was eventually not approved - we're not sure how much it had to do with the ponies!)

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