Village shop will open this summer, thanks to a fundraising campaign by Great Paxton residents

The new community shop was delivered to the car park at The Bell pub.

The new community shop was delivered to the car park at The Bell pub. - Credit: Archant

A new village shop will be opening in Great Paxton this summer, thanks to a two-year fundraising campaign.

Villagers gathered in the car park of The Bell pub last Friday to watch as a huge crane delivered a mobile building that will house their not-for-profit community shop which they hope to open this summer.

A campaign was launched 18 months ago to raise £40,000 for the store, which will be run by one full-time member of staff and some volunteers.

The village, on the outskirts of St Neots, has been without a village shop or post office for four years and the nearest one is three miles away. At the end of last year, campaigners were told they had been awarded a £9,965 from the A14 Community Fund.

“This really is an exciting start to the year,” said campaigner Jackie Baines.

“Community shops are springing up all over the country as more and more villages find that private shopkeepers can no longer afford to keep their shops open. Having a shop in the village again will make a huge difference to our residents. Currently we have to rely on limited public transport or take a six-mile round trip in the car to shop for even a pint of milk,” she added.

The shop will sell convenience goods, with as much local produce as possible.

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“Being in the High Street we expect to attract passing trade as well as locals and all the profits will go back into the shop or other village projects. We would like to thanks Dulverton Trust Fund and the A14 Community Fund for supporting us and the Cambridgeshire Community Foundation,” said Jackie.

Campaigners hope the shop will be fully operational this summer and are continuing to raise funds. The next fundraising event is a Big Brass Band Night, with sausage supper, on March 25 at Great Paxton Primary School. Tickets are £10 and available by email: Anyone wishing to make a donation or buy shares in the shop should email the campaign group or check out the Facebook page.