Community-owned shop set sights on ‘Oscars’ glory

Villagers turned out to mark the opening of the new village shop in Houghton and Wyton.

Villagers turned out to mark the opening of the new village shop in Houghton and Wyton. - Credit: Archant

Houghton and Wyton’s community shop has been shortlisted for a ‘rural Oscar’.

The shop, located in The Green, is in line for a Countryside Alliance Award for best village shop/post office in the eastern region.

Whilst there has been a village shop on the same site in the villages since 1847, the current community shop started trading two years ago, having been bought by 314 villagers when the previous owners wished to retire.

Shop manager, Ian Chapman said how “delighted and humbled” the team was to be nominated by members of the community for the award after a relatively short time trading. The award is the annual celebration of rural produce, skills, enterprise and heritage which is now in its 14th year.

The awards received more than 17,000 nominations in five categories this year.

As well as selling groceries the community shop also supports smaller producers and stocks a number of local lines including caught fish from Grafham Water and flour from the nearby National Trust Mill, along with Glebe Farm products from Kings Ripton.

Countryside Alliance Awards director, Sarah Lee, said: “We have been overwhelmed by nominations this year. The secret to the rural Oscars’ popularity is that they honour the people involved in these businesses and not just their produce or services.

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“They exist to sing the praises of those who work hard to keep our communities and rural economy ticking, but don’t seek the spotlight. These awards provide a cause for celebration in a time of great uncertainty in the countryside.

“Our local produce is second to none and there are many community heroes and businesses worthy of national recognition.”