Amid plans for the sale of their village shop, Barnwell residents have formed the Barnwell Village Shop Community Group to investigate the feasibility of supporting, developing and sustaining a community facility providing goods and services for the people of Barnwell and neighbouring villages.
The Barnwell Village Store and Post Office has been listed for sale at £500,000. Established for over 50 years, it offers groceries, post office services, and is licenced to sell alcohol.
Although the shop is currently open for limited hours, it records a turnover of £200K, alongside a post office salary of £5K.
The current owners plan to remain in the village, living in the private quarters above the shop. If they do not find a buyer, they may close the post office and open the shop for half days.
It may also be possible for them to convert the premises to residential use.
At a parish council meeting last year, ENC Councillor Geoff Shacklock said: “It is sad that the Post Office may close after a two-and-a-half year successful fight to keep it open.”
He had spoken to MP Tom Pursglove who said that the owners would need to give six months’ notice to The Post Office of their intention to close.
The community group plan to continue to support the owners and explore opportunities for the continued operation of the village shop.
They are meeting with a representative from East Northamptonshire Council on funding opportunities, and researching other rural community sustainable projects that successfully provide services to the community.