Village's hope for project cash

A VILLAGE is hoping for support from all of Suffolk today as it bids for thousands of pounds to create a community shop.Sproughton Parish Council wants to turn a former tractor garage at its Tithe Barn into a village-owned shop, to be run by volunteers.

A VILLAGE is hoping for support from all of Suffolk today as it bids for thousands of pounds to create a community shop.

Sproughton Parish Council wants to turn a former tractor garage at its Tithe Barn into a village-owned shop, to be run by volunteers.

To meet the conversion costs the council has applied to the Big Lottery Fund and Sproughton's shop project has now reached the finals of the People's Millions competition.

Tonight the public will decide its fate in a head-to-head showdown with a scheme from the Ipswich Town and Bridge community garden project to create a garden in the Maidenhall area of Ipswich. Whichever projects wins will get £80,000.

Simon Curl, chairman of the parish council, said: “We already have other weekly activities at the barn, such as senior citizens' lunches and a computer club. Having a shop here will help to make the barn a friendly drop-in centre and social hub for all the community.”

Rosalind Lavington, who organised the bid for the funds, added: “The shop will be owned by the community and run by volunteers.

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“We conducted a survey of all households in the village and 120 people said that they would help to run the shop. We'll stock local produce such as fruit, vegetables, meat and cheese from three local farms.

“Shopping locally will help to reduce our carbon footprint. We'll offer other services such as internet access and a prescription-collection scheme.”

Videos about Sproughton's community shop project and the Maidenhall garden scheme will be shown on ITV at 6pm tonight in the People's Millions competition.

To vote for the project visit www.itvlocal.com/millions or phone 08702 405 401 to support the community garden scheme or 08702 405 402 to support the Sproughton shop scheme.

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