All change as locals take over Cobham Village Stores
Official reopening of the
Cobham Community Store, The Street, Cobham.
From left, director Gillian Burgess, mayor of Gravesham Lyn Milner,
Lorraine Thornton and Michele Jackson.
A stricken village shop has reopened... after villagers
clubbed together to run it.
Cobham Village Stores has been given new life after members of
the community got together to run The Street shop as a Community
Before the Grade II listed shop closed, it was a vital
lifeline for many residents, especially those without
It was officially opened by Gravesham MP Adam Holloway and Mayor
of Gravesham Lyn Milner.
Gillian Burgess, who helped set up the CIC, said: “As well as
the usual services of a village store, we are committed to creating
a hub in the village where people can bump into friends or chat and
exchange news with neighbours, reinforcing our sense of belonging
to a vibrant community.
“Our vision is to open a community shop that will not just be a
place to buy bread and milk but one that will become an intrinsic
part of our traditional village life once again.”
Built in 1411 and trading as a shop for at least 150 years,
Cobham Village Stores reopened through the community’s
contributions and grants from the Big Lottery fund, Gravesham
Neighbourhood Forum and Kent County Council membership grant scheme
– raising more than £80,000.
The group has also attracted more than 100 shareholders whose
£10 investment allows them a vote at the shop’s annual general
meeting and have a say in how the shop is run.
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