Winchester City Council grants a helping hand to Sparsholt village shop

Press Release: 20/04/2011

Mayor of Winchester, Cllr Richard Izard and Alison Woods, Acting Head of Economy and Arts at Winchester City Council, with Sparsholt Village Shop and

Winchester City Council has contributed £7,000 to help fund a vital community facility. Sparsholt Village Shop and Post Office, along with several other village stores, has received a village shop grant from the council. The grants were introduced in 2009 in response to the economic downturn.

The small, beautifully laid out, shop selling an excellent range of local produce as well as the usual essential grocery items now boasts a new fridge and shop fittings.

Michael Housham, Chairman of the Management Committee for Sparsholt Village Shop Association, said, “The grant has enabled us to improve and increase our capacity for displaying and stocking products. Together with the new product lines introduced this has been very well received by our customers and has been a great help to our staff and volunteers. Increasing our sales revenue is critical to the shop's survival and we very much appreciate any help we can get in achieving this.”

Alison Woods, Acting Head of Economy and Arts, at Winchester City Council said, “Sparsholt Village Shop and Post Office provides an essential service for local residents. Not only does it provide basic supplies and a post office service for those without their own means of transport but it also popular with local residents because of its wide range of tempting local produce. During the last two severe winters village shops have also been a vital life line for snow bound residents who’d normally frequent supermarkets further afield. With fuel costs rising steadily residents may decide that being able to shop local is highly advantageous.”

Sparsholt Village Shop and Post Office is open from 8am to 5pm Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, and from 8am to 1pm on Wednesday and 8am to 12 noon on Saturday.

Grants are available to village shops located within the Winchester District which provide basic services for the rural communities they serve.  To apply or find out more, contact Alison Woods, Head of Economy and Arts at Winchester City Council on 01962 848 563 or email awoods@winchester.gov.uk. For information about other grants schemes in the area, go to www.winchester.gov.uk/businessgrants