Happy shoppers in Ufford

VILLAGERS in Ufford were given an early Christmas present today - news they will soon have a shop in their community again.

VILLAGERS in Ufford were given an early Christmas present today - news they will soon have a shop in their community again.

A grant of up to £5,000 has been given by the Suffolk Rural Services Scheme to help towards the cost of converting an old garage and stable block into a new village store and post office.

John Adcroft, owner of a property in Loudham Lane, came forward with a proposal to convert part of his premises into the store when the old village shop closed in September.

Ray Herring, chairman of the Suffolk Coastal Local Strategic Partnership, said: “Mr Adcroft was successful in obtaining planning permission for the conversion and applied for a grant from the Suffolk Rural Services Scheme towards the cost of the building works, which will incorporate disabled access, and buying the necessary refrigeration equipment.

“Mr Adcroft hopes to open the shop early December with the post office service being available from mid-January.”

The scheme offers business and funding advice and grants of up to £5,000 towards half the project costs of any proposed expansion or improvement of an independent rural business.

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It also has a community section to fund essential rural community services such as childcare provision or maintenance of village halls.

Mr Herring said: “This is the second successful local application since the scheme was re-launched this year. Alderton Peninsula Pantry and Post Office Store recently received a grant of £3,600 towards the cost of improving facilities.

“With the decline of access to services in rural areas both nationally and locally the Local Strategic Partnership has made this one of its key issues.

“This decline is not inevitable and businesses, with assistance to make improvements and with the support of their community, can reverse this trend.”

Anyone wanting to find out if they are eligible for help can contact Stephen Watt or Dawn Smith at Suffolk County Council on 01473 264832 or 01473 264817.

N Has your community received good news? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk



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