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Week St. Mary Community Shop
--------------------------------------- 2nd September 2017 --------------------------------------
Following a half year stock take on 1st September 2017 carried out by external professionals, we now know the shop has traded profitably in its first 6 months. A pre-tax profit of £955 was generated.


Sales started slowly in March but improved from April onwards after the official opening, re-stocking and expansion of the product range and supplier base. Average spend per visit (excluding lottery and VAT) has settled at around £4.15. The expected seasonal upturn in weekly footfall occurred in the June to August period, historically the best quarter for the business.
Sales in the second half of the year are likely to be lower than the first half out-turn of £93,611 because of this seasonal effect and slightly less trading days. Sales are forecast at £88,389 for the second half giving £182,000 for the 51 week trading period to 28th February 2018. Allowing for March’s slow start up and in a full 52 week year, sales are currently running at an annualised level of about £188,000. This is some 6% below the Business Plan. The average level of sales for a community shop across the UK is £155,000 (Plunkett Foundation).

Now that a full stock count and evaluation has been undertaken, the gross margin (on non-lottery sales) for the first half is 15.7%. This is higher than the provisional figure of 13% used in the Business Plan and for internal reporting purposes for the first 5 months. It is supported by an analysis of estimated gross margin by product line based on purchases. It is however well below the average achieved by UK Community Shops of 26% (Plunkett Foundation) so there is scope for improvement.
First half gross profit from sales of £14,717 was £1,717 higher than the Business Plan due to the higher margin. The gross margin in the second half has been forecast at 15%. This is lower than the first half partly because donations of locally grown produce are expected to be lower.

Lottery commission fell below expectations however, in combination with the fees received for running the Post Office out-reach service, the contribution from these sources of £2,039 is slightly above the Business Plan for the half year and this is expected to continue.

First half rent of £3,000 and basic salaries of £7,438 are fixed costs. Other overheads of £3,872 were £590 lower than in the Business Plan. This reflected a combination of volunteers undertaking many tasks free of charge, some re-sourcing of services and tight control. A grant of £1,084 made by Week St Mary Parish Council and a donation of £200 by the “Meet and Eat” group will cover all of the “once off” start up expenditure incurred e.g. new sign, licensee training and alarm system.
Total overheads for the second half year are forecast at £15,318, £1,008 higher than in the first half. This is mainly because of an increased allowance for staff holiday cover. To maintain Post Office and banking services as much as possible, Anna and Caroline are sometimes able to work overtime when the other is on holiday.

After providing for the salaried staff bonus programme (20% of final trading profit for the year) and additional rent payable under the terms of the lease, pre-tax profit was £955 compared to break-even in the Business Plan. A small additional profit is forecast for the second half. Corporation Tax will be payable at 20% on the full year’s profit and “founder donations” (see below).

111 members of the local community subscribed for £20,130 of share capital in Week St Mary Community Shop Limited and a further 5 made founder donations of £670. £6,879 was spent on stock at acquisition on 5 March 2017, leaving £13,921 of cash.

Since then:
Capital expenditure totalling £1,782 (new chiller, fruit & veg display unit and laptop/printer) has been made, fully financed by a grant from the Cornwall Community Foundation and Stockholding has almost doubled to c£12,800 in line with Business Plan projections to provide a better shopping experience and improve the business.
Trade creditors were £6,594 at 2nd September 2017. Virtually all were paid within 10 days of the period end as wholesalers’ direct debits were applied and local suppliers’ accounts are settled promptly. Deducting these liabilities and other net accruals of £914 from the cash at bank balance of £16,078 leaves £8,570 of cash.

It is pleasing to be able to present such a positive report after 6 months of trading. This is of course the result of the collective efforts of a considerable number of community members.
On-going support on both the customer and organisational fronts is a pre-requisite but, providing this is forthcoming, there appears no reason why the community of Week St Mary cannot continue to own and operate a modestly profitable shop and Post Office for the benefit of the community. Tangible evidence of this was the primary objective of Phase 1 as set out in the Share Issue Prospectus of January 2017 and the accompanying Business Plan.
Phase 2 involves securing a long-term home for the enterprise as the present lease expires in 3 and a half years’ time i.e. March 2021.
The Management Committee will start to address this over the coming months.

Stephen Smith, Treasurer, Week St Mary Community Shop Limited - September 2017
Any member/shareholder of Week St Mary Community Shop Ltd who would like to request a copy of the half year Profit & Loss Account and Balance Sheet should contact me on
----------------------------------------- 31st August 2017 ---------------------------------------
News from your Community Shop:

On 5 September 2017 we will be celebrating 6 months of trading as Week St Mary Community Shop and Post Office. A huge congratulations to you all for making it such a great success.

July saw a record month of sales with an average of 918 people through the door each week. Volunteering is also on the increase and a big thank you to all our volunteers old and new. Also thank you, for your patience and understanding when we are till training new volunteers.

As a chance to thank everyone properly, we will be holding a “get together” on 1 October 2017 at 6, The Glebe, Week St Mary for all volunteers and anyone else who may be interested in joining the team. Come along between 3.00pm & 6.00pm for a few nibbles and a glass (or two)! Look out for the new stock which has recently been introduced including the extensive wine list, Cornish Gins - Curio made in Helston and the award winning Tarquins made in Wadebridge, Korev lager produced by St Austell Brewery, range of Whalesborough cheeses from Bude. A new range of Dove baby care products and a large range of teas and coffees. There are also different desserts in the chillers changing on a fortnightly basis! Plus much much more!

We will be celebrating 6 months of trading with a range of promotions in the shop throughout September.  So come on in and take a look – you will be amazed!!!

And once again thank you for supporting your Community Shop.

Spend a little less elsewhere and make a BIG difference here……..
----------------------------------------- 30th July 2017 ---------------------------------------
News from your Community Shop:

Thank you!

We would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who helped to move out the old vegetable display unit and move in the new! Especially, Steve and Mike Fry, Chris and Jen Spettigue for giving up an evening. Also thanks to Dick Bolt with his digger, Nigel Barriball and Jake Cartwright for assisting Whitstone Waste to get it on the truck, who took time out of their working day.

The time you gave is very much appreciated - Many thanks to you all

----------------------------------------- 30th June 2017 ---------------------------------------
News from your Community Shop:

Your Community Shop still needs volunteers.

We have now completed the first 3 months of trading and have successfully managed to maintain opening hours – only having to close early one Saturday afternoon due to lack of staff. However, the holiday period is upon us and the current volunteers will be taking holidays and are already working as many shifts as they can manage.

The situation is that if there are not sufficient volunteers, particularly when Anna or Caroline are not working, we will have to look to reduce the opening hours of the shop. This has the knock on effect of the less hours the shop opens the harder it will be to make a profit. Ultimately, if the shop is not financially viable it would have to close! This is definitely not something anyone would want to see as so many people have worked so hard to get to where we are.

Please ask yourself:
• Do I want the essential services provided to the village by the Community Shop to continue?
• Can I give a couple of hours per week?

If you answered ‘Yes’ to either question please speak to Anna or Caroline about volunteering to help in any way you can. There are many jobs in the shop which do not include serving customers or using the post office which are as essential to the running of a successful business.

Many thanks.

----------------------------------------- 31st May 2017 ---------------------------------------
News from your Community Shop:

We have recently had the good news that we have been awarded a grant of £2,000 from Cornwall Community Foundation. This is not, unfortunately, the full amount that we requested so we have drawn up a list of priorities. Our first two purchases will be a new vegetable display unit and a double chiller cabinet that will replace the two currently at the back of the shop. We are investigating further grants for the purchase of other equipment.
Unfortunately, due to work commitments, Lee Bacchus has had to stand down from his role as Chair though he remains on the committee. We are delighted that Sharon Barriball has stepped into the breach and is our new Chair. Andy Jones has resigned from the committee due to work commitments and Micheline Smith has joined. Karen Poole is now the committee member responsible for volunteers and she or, of course, Anna or Caroline are the contacts for volunteers.

We are holding a social get together/training session on the afternoon of Sunday, June 11th for
volunteers. Look out for further details on our Facebook page or in the shop. We still need more volunteers - don’t forget volunteers do not have to use the till – there are many other roles to be filled.

The shop is now fully stocked and below are the trading figures for the first three months of trading:

March: Average no customers per week 874 - Average spend per week £3.80*
April: Average no customers per week 868 - Average spend per week £4.47*
May (first 3 weeks): Average no customers per week 857 - Average spend per week £4.33*
BREAK-EVEN TARGET:  Average no customers per week 870 -  Average spend per week £4.80*
     *Excluding National Lottery sales

We are not yet trading at break-even. We could achieve this if everyone visiting the shop spent an extra 50p on some goods they need, rather than buying them elsewhere, perhaps by taking advantage of our special offers. Don’t forget you can place orders for all bakery products – order before 4.00 pm for next day delivery. We also take orders for Swannacott meat products. A list of products for both suppliers is available in the shop.
WSM Community Shop Committee
Community Shop – Exterior Painting
The exterior of the Week St Mary Community Shop needs some t.l.c. and a lick of paint – the chosen colours are buttermilk and green, to blend with the colour of our shop fascia. Can you help please? If you can help in any way e.g. preparation, painting, etc. please speak to Anna or Caroline.
----------------------------------------- 8th April 2017 ---------------------------------------




8.00-10.00am Shop open as usual for morning requirements

10.00-10.30am Shop closed to prepare for the Official opening

From 10.00am WI serving light refreshments outside the shop

10.30am Opening ceremony – Jeff Roberts and Harvest Queens to cut the ribbon

10.45am Shop re-opens with special products on offer

“spend a little less elsewhere and make a BIG difference here…”

As you will all know, our community took over the running of the shop and Post Office on Sunday 5th March. This was less than 3 months after the decision to go ahead was taken at the Parish Open Meeting on 7th December 2016.

The official opening will be on Saturday 8th April 2017 at 10.30 in the morning – see page 1 of the Parish Magazine for the full programme. We are delighted that Jeff Roberts will be our guest of honour.

Notwithstanding one or two teething troubles and with Jeff’s help, we were pleased that all customer services were maintained almost without interruption. Anna and Caroline and our team of enthusiastic volunteers (both those you see in the shop and those behind the scenes) were key to this.

Our initial priority is to re-stock. You will have noticed the shelves and refrigeration units filling up and the product range expanding. Fruit and veg is delivered 3 times a week (Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday). Browse around on your next visit and see what is on offer, including an amazing range of bakery products. There will be some special merchandise available to mark the official opening.

We  have made some changes to the layout and décor but more major steps are on hold pending the outcome of a £3,000 grant application.

In terms of more community services, the book exchange is open and there is a small noticeboard by it for community use e.g. offering or advertising services. Larger notices about village events will be continued to be displayed in the shop window area.

Although the initial objective to take over the shop when Jeff retired has been achieved, much remains to be done. The first task is to get the enterprise running smoothly and turn it around into profit by increasing sales. We then need to start planning for its long-term home.

However, resources are stretched on the Management Committee and amongst the shop volunteer team. Both need strengthening.

What can you do to help?

• Buy as much of your weekly shopping requirements in the Community Shop as you possibly can.
• Look at our Facebook page for news items and special offers.
• If you have 2.5 hours to spare a week (or even fortnightly or every third week) please ask in the shop about becoming a volunteer - we still need more.
• Join the Management Committee.
• Join us on Saturday 8th April for the grand opening.

Week St Mary Community Shop Management Committee

----------------------------------------- 5th March 2017 ---------------------------------------


On Sunday 5th March, Week St Mary community took control of the shop and Post Office in Week St Mary on the retirement of the current proprietor.

Jeff Roberts had run the business for 36 years but was unable to find a buyer to take it over. He and his wife Monica therefore approached the Parish Council about the prospect of the community acquiring it, recognising the need to preserve this vital community resource.

After a public meeting in October 2016, a feasibility study group was formed which reported back positively at a second meeting in early December. There was a clear show of public support and pledges were received to help establish a community-owned shop.

Since then, a determined group of locals have set up a Community Benefit Society, Week St Mary Community Shop Limited, and have been hard at work raising finance and preparing for the take-over. Over £20,000 for working capital was raised through a community share issue (which enables people to become members – and democratic owners – of the shop) and grants of £1,600 were received from Week St Mary Parish Council and the local County Councillor’s Community Chest to cover start-up costs.

The Society will lease the current shop premises from Jeff and Monica Roberts for the next 4 years, creating time for longer term options to be assessed.

Lee Bacchus, Chair of the Society said “Parish support has been critical and our success is testament to the strong community spirit in Week St Mary. 110 parishioners invested to keep our shop and Post Office open and we have 20 volunteers who will support 2 part-time employees in running the operation”.

The official opening of the Community Shop will be on Saturday 8th April, to give time for the new shop signage, some layout changes and re-stocking.

Chair of Week St Mary Parish Council, Micheline Smith, commented “This has been a tremendous effort by the community. In the space of a few months, we have gone from the prospect of losing our shop, Post Office and main community hub, to having its future secured for at least the next 4 years. To an isolated community like ours, this is fantastic news”.

--------------------------------------- 26th February 2017 -------------------------------------


We must begin with another thank you to all the members of our community who have offered support in terms of time, money, ideas and promises of help. This fantastic response has put us in a very good position and we have set a date for the community to take on the running of the shop on Sunday 5th March.

We plan to hold an official opening ceremony in late March or early April to allow time for the new sign to be put in place, some layout changes made and some special launch products to be stocked. Full details will be publicised soon.

The major unknown at the time of writing is when our bank account will be operational. Hopefully this will not delay a 5th March take over.

Some other key points on our current position:
21 volunteers have been included in the first week's rota. More volunteers will always be needed for a range of roles within the shop. If you can spare any time on a weekly, fortnightly or monthly basis, please contact Anna, Caroline or a committee member. Saturdays and to a lesser extent Sundays are the days when more help is most needed.

Initially, the shop will open from 8:00am - 1:00pm and 3:30pm - 6:00pm Monday to Friday, 8:00am - 6:00pm Saturday and 9:00am - midday on Sundays, whilst the Post Office will be open on Saturday morning and every weekday morning except Thursdays and at least 4 weekday

Take up of shares has exceeded our initial target and expectations. Including donations, the total is just over £20,000 and there will be 100 members of the Community Benefit Society. This will allow us to increase our stock target of £12,500 if necessary and a have a healthy cash balance on opening - this is great news and shows a great commitment from shop supporters. Cheques will be banked as soon as the bank account is open and share certificates will be issued thereafter.

A shop manager (Anna) and assistant manager (Caroline) are ready to take up their roles on the opening of the shop with a combined total of 35 hours work between them. The responses to the questions posed at the last Open Meeting have been taken into account. The shop sign will be yellow writing on a green background and a range of stock and potential extension of services have been identified including the possibility of a prescription collection service.

We are in a strong position to succeed with the opening and maintenance of the community shop into the future. For the community to retain this key asset in the future, further support in just two key areas is required:
We need some more volunteers who could offer some time to work in the shop (a shift is usually two and a half hours).

We need people to use the shop more regularly and to increase their spend.

If each household makes a commitment to divert a relatively small percentage from their supermarket spend or on-line delivery order to the Community Shop, it will make a huge difference to the success of this venture.

With a continued commitment to support the shop by volunteering and using the store, we hope to be in a position to extend quality, services and opening hours as time goes on.

Finally, the progress made so far, thanks to the support of so many members of our community, has been impressive and gives us great cause for optimism. With continued support and encouragement to those not yet engaged, the community shop and post office has a real chance of success in the longer term.

Lee Bacchus

--------------------------------------- 24th January 2017 -------------------------------------

Management Committee - Update on progress...

We must begin with a thank you to all the members of our community who have offered support to our project in terms of time, money, ideas and offers of help.

This fantastic response has put us in a very good position and we are optimistic that a fully functioning community general store will be able to open before the end of February.

Some of the key points of our current position:

• Financial pledges of almost £18,000 have been made so far. This is on target to allow us to meet our stock target of £12,500 and a cash balance on opening - this is great news and shows a great commitment from shop supporters.

• A shop manager (Anna) and assistant manager (Caroline) are ready to take up their roles on the opening of the shop with a combined total of 35 hours work between them.

• 23 people have volunteered for front line shop and Post Office duties which is a great start and will allow the shop to open for some time most days. To be able to offer our planned opening times morning and afternoons Monday to Saturday and Sunday morning, several more volunteers are required and more committee members are always welcome.

• The 'Week St Mary Community Shop Ltd' has now been formed with associated legal and banking processes well on the way to completion.

• A well supported Open Meeting on 23rd January gave attendees the chance to have their say on the design of the Community Shop sign (which will influence our branding design), the items and services that people would most like to see available in the shop and the chance to ask questions and express opinions.

• The Community Share Offer was launched on 21st January 2017. If you have not already seen a copy, they are available in the shop or from this Community Shop page on the village website. The offer closes on 11th February 2017.

We are in a strong position to proceed with the opening of the community shop on time and as planned. For the community to retain this key asset in the future further support in just two key areas are required:
• We need a few more volunteers who could offer some time to work in the shop (a shift is usually two and a half hours).
• We need people to use the shop on a regular basis. If each person made a commitment to regularly buy just one extra item from the community shop instead of that item from their supermarket shop, it would make a huge difference to the success of this venture.

The Plunkett Foundation, who have offered invaluable help and support in this project gave us some food for thought.
Where a village has seen the closure of its only shop, average house prices have fallen by approximately 10%!
Finally, the progress made so far, thanks to the support of so many members of our community, has been impressive and gives us great cause for optimism. With continued support and encouragement to those not yet engaged, the community shop and post office has a real chance of success in the longer term.
More information on volunteering is available on this page.

Lee Bacchus (Chairman)

--------------------------------------- 21st January 2017 -------------------------------------
Week St. Mary Community Shop Ltd
  Application for the
   issue of shares
  Business Plan 2017
    Schedule 1 – Profit & Loss Accounts 2017/18 to 2020/21
Signed Model Rules Schedule 2 – Other Overheads 2017/18 to 2020/21
    Schedule 3 – Balance Sheets as at 28th February 2017 to 2021


Launch Date: 21st January 2017 ~ Closing Date: 11th February 2017

You are invited to invest in a community owned shop and Post Office for Week St Mary

Week St Mary Community Shop will be a new community shop and Post Office, taking over Jeff Roberts’s business when he retires. It will be owned by local residents and run as a co-operative for the benefit of the community. We invite everyone to become a member and help keep a shop open in Week St Mary.

Management Statement
Open Meeting in the Parish Hall
Monday 23rd January, 7.30pm-9.00pm

At the meeting we will present our final plans for the shop and give details about the community
share offer.
There will be an opportunity to ask questions about the project.
At 8.30 pm there will be a meeting of all volunteers to share thoughts on organisation, training etc.


How you can help?
 • By subscribing for shares and becoming a member/shareholder
 • By volunteering to help serve in the shop and Post Office
 • By volunteering your time and skills to help with specialist tasks (administrative as well as
 • Most important of all – shop in the shop when it’s open!

And finally...

We have been encouraged by the enthusiasm and support that has been shown from people across
the parish and we believe that together we can create something which will benefit everyone in the
community. We need your continued support to make this happen, so if you want Week St Mary to
have a thriving community shop then please support the project and become a member/shareholder.


After 35 years of running Week St Mary’s village shop and Post Office, Jeff Roberts is retiring at the end February/early March 2017. He was unable to find a buyer for the shop on the open market and approached the Parish Council about the community taking it over. Unless this happens, Week St Mary will lose this vital facility.

Week St Mary Community Shop – the plan in summary
WSM Community Shop will be run by the community for the benefit of the community. The plan has 2 phases. Phase 1 is to rent the current shop premises for a period of 4 years for £6,000 per annum and then to either:
   • acquire the freehold or long leasehold of the current shop premises as a permanent base;
   • relocate to an alternative (not yet identified) site in the village; or
   • seek to extend the initial rental arrangement.

Phase 1 will be funded by offering shares to the local community, supplemented by donations and grants. For phase 2 (in 2019/20) significant extra capital will be required to execute either option 1 or 2. This will come mainly from grants.

The new enterprise will add more community services to the current retail activities and hosting of the outreach Post Office. There will be a notice board for village information, a free book/DVD exchange and, subject to volunteer numbers, a delivery service for the house bound or less able.

The Society will be offering part-time contracts of employment to the two staff currently working in the business. Anna Willoughby will be the manager working mornings and concentrating on the retail operation. Caroline Fry will be assistant manager, working each afternoon, and will have specific responsibility for the Post Office operation. Together, their hours will equate to a full time equivalent. They will be supported by a team of volunteers (ideally 35+ strong) from the community.

Subject to volunteer numbers, initial opening hours will be:
The half hour earlier morning start may prove beneficial to both customers and the business whilst the period from 2pm to 3.30pm has been identified as a quiet trading period. Opening hours will be reviewed in the light of customer feedback and volunteer availability.

Week St Mary’s Parish Council convened an open meeting on 20th October, 2016 and six residents volunteered to carry out a feasibility study to consider whether the community could acquire the shop. This group made a positive recommendation at a second open meeting on 5th December, 2016. Four members of the feasibility study group and two others were mandated to incorporate and become first members of Community Benefit Society (a cooperative) formed to take the project forward.
Week St Mary Community Shop Limited (“the Society”) was incorporated on 3rd January 2017.
The Management Committee currently comprises:

  Lee Bacchus** (Chair) Andy Jones Sharon Barriball
  Karen Poole** (Secretary) Brenda Jennings** Stephen Smith** (Treasurer)
           ** first member

We are all volunteers and between us we have a broad range of experience in areas including business and financial management, project management, legal and HR matters and procurement. We lack retail expertise which will come from the managerial staff and the sharing of best practice by other community shops also affiliated to the Plunkett Foundation. The latter is a charity specialising in helping communities undertake projects like ours.
At the Society’s first AGM in mid-2018, in line with its Rules, we will all stand down and offer ourselves for re-election by members. In the meantime, we can co-opt some further members and encourage anyone else who is willing to commit time and energy to put themselves forward to get involved.

Why have the share issue?
The share issue is an opportunity for local people and organisations to contribute financially, on a long term basis, to a community shop in Week St Mary, in the expectation of receiving a social dividend rather than a financial return. This social dividend will mean different things to different people, but may include:
 • having a shop in the village to get daily staples (milk, bread, papers, etc.);
 • a “community hub” where people can continue to meet, make friends and exchange information;
 • a way of ensuring good quality local produce is available to the community, to support local producers and reduce food miles;
 • retaining local Post Office and banking facilities;
 • the positive impact on house prices and saleability; and
 • contributing to Week St Mary remaining a desirable place to live.

Is the business viable?
Evidence suggests that it will be. A community shop differs from a privately owned shop. Most importantly, sales are likely to be higher as the shop’s primary customers – the community – will own and run the business and will both want it to succeed and be more easily able to shape the shop to local needs.

Community owned shops of this type are opening across the UK and have proved a very resilient form of business. 337 are currently open and only 16 are known to have closed, which gives a survival rate of 95%. This compares extremely positively with estimations for UK small business national survival rate of 45%, (Source - Plunkett Foundation website, January 2017).
We have prepared a business plan with detailed financial information and reasoning behind our sales and profit forecasts. For convenience, a copy is being sent to all those who have already pledged to invest.

Does the community support this initiative?
We believe there is strong support for a community shop within the community:
 • the 2008 Parish Plan showed “overwhelming support (98%) for the village shop and Post Office” and that “at least 81% use it regularly and see it as a vital service”;
 • of 50 households surveyed at random in November 2016, 49 were strongly in favour of retention of the facility with 1 undecided;
 • unanimous support was given by those present at the two recent open meetings;
 • 105 people from 71 households have made financial pledges of support totalling £17,725; and
 • 23 people have volunteered to help in the shop/Post Office once it is open and 13 more to provide periodic specialist assistance.

What investment do we need to succeed?
We are aiming to raise a total of £23,600 for Phase 1. Donations worth £1,500 for registration fees and (free) legal assistance have already been secured. Further funding of £1,100 from the Parish Council is being requested for transition and set up costs.
Through this share offer and linked “founder” donations, we are aiming to raise at least £18,000 by the closing date to invest in working capital. £1,500 will be deposited with the newspaper wholesaler so that deliveries on a sale or return basis can be made directly rather than picked up by volunteers from an intermediary. Stock will be purchased at cost from the current proprietor and then built up to a core level of £12,500 with intra-month and seasonal fluctuations. This will leave a cash reserve of around £4,000 to cater for both these fluctuations and running costs paid in lump sums e.g. rent and insurance.
The existing fixed assets in the shop will be bought for £1 initially, with deferred payments over 4 years related to profitability, capped at £9,000, in the form of additional rent. Capital expenditure on surveillance and electronic point of sales systems, etc. will take place post acquisition, allowing time for grant applications e.g. to Cornwall Community Foundation’s Discretionary/Generic Fund for £3,000 to be considered at a March 2017 funding round.

How does the share issue work?
A single £10 share confers membership of the Society, and each applicant can apply for any number of shares up to a legal maximum value of £100,000.
Decisions at General Meetings, including election of the Management Committee, are democratically taken on the basis of one member one vote regardless of the number and value of shares the member owns and any member aged 18 or over can stand for election.
Shares cannot be sold to another person, but investors may be able to withdraw them once the business has been trading for about five years. Withdrawal will be at the discretion of the Management Committee who will consider if the business has adequate profits and cash reserves to fund the requested withdrawal.
Buying shares should be seen as a long term investment for the benefit of the community. It is not the same as making an investment in a public or private enterprise where the investor makes a capital gain from the increase in the value of the shares. Shares in the Society cannot increase beyond their nominal value of £10 and could reduce in value if the shop fails to prosper. However, because the shares are issued by a limited company, no further liability can fall on you as a shareholder.
The Society will not pay a dividend on the shares, but the Management Committee could consider paying interest in the future should finances of the Society permit it. Any profits not needed for the development of the business or repayment of shareholders will be used for the benefit of the community, which we have defined as the residents of the Parish of Week St Mary.
The investment is not guaranteed but renting the premises, initially with a break clause after 18 months or with 6 months notice thereafter, gives downside protection. If the venture proves unsuccessful in trading terms or a permanent base cannot be secured to execute phase 2, the stock can be liquidated and, after redundancy and other closure costs and settling creditors, the net proceeds can be used to repay share capital.

What happens if we don’t raise enough money or we fall short with volunteers?
We are very optimistic that we will raise sufficient funds given the level of financial pledges already made by members of the community.
We do however need more volunteers to come forward to help with running the shop. If, in the event, there is a shortfall in either resource, we will call an open meeting on 15th February, 2017 to decide if we should still go ahead with taking over the shop but running it on a smaller scale with restricted opening hours.

We have identified a number of risks for Week St Mary Community Shop Limited. These include:
 • Failure to raise sufficient capital
 • Failure to achieve the predicted level of turnover and/or gross margin
 • Non-controllable outside factors affecting Post Office or lottery commission income
 • Dependence on volunteers to staff the shop
 • Longer term in Phase 2, the failure to secure a permanent base

This list is not necessarily comprehensive and any trading activity is vulnerable to changing or unanticipated risk. Our share offer is exempt from the Financial Services and Markets Act  2000 or subsidiary regulations; this means you have no right of complaint to an ombudsman.
A Community Benefit Society is registered with, but not authorised by, the Financial Conduct Authority and therefore the money you pay for your shares is not safeguarded by any depositor protection scheme or dispute resolutions scheme. As the whole of your investment could carry a risk, please consider it carefully, and if needed seek independent financial advice.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I become a member? The Society will be a business that is run by the community for the community. The success of the shop relies on support from the people who live in Week St Mary. We would encourage everyone in Week St Mary to become a cooperative member and to have a say in the running of the shop. Without community investment there will not be a shop.
Who will benefit from this venture? The primary beneficiaries will be the residents of Week St Mary who will have a village shop and amenity for at least the next 4 years. A wider group including local food producers, local internet order businesses and visitors to the village will also benefit. Any surplus profit will be available for distribution for social, environmental and charitable purposes within Week St Mary Parish.
Is it a good business proposition? We believe so. The community shop model is robust and it is well proven that a community that works together to set up such a venture supports it in the future. We have prepared a business plan which gives further details and financial projections. It can be obtained from one of the Management Committee or viewed on the Village website:
What happens if the business fails? In the unlikely event of the business failing the remaining assets would be sold and the proceeds divided between shareholders up to the value of their shares. Any surplus would be for community use.
How much can I invest? Any one over the age of 16 can become a member. The minimum share is £10, and the statutory maximum amount of share capital that can be invested by an individual or organisation in this type of Society is currently £100,000.
Can I invest in instalments? No. This offer will close on 11th February 2017. Separate arrangements will be made for investing after that date e.g. for those new to the parish.
What is the difference between a member and a shareholder? There is no difference – all shareholders are members and vice versa.
Is the committee competent and do they
have a personal financial interest?
The Management Committee has strong business, financial, legal and HR experience. They are a group of volunteers who believe passionately in keeping a shop in Week St Mary.
They do not have a personal financial interest in this project beyond the amount they are each investing themselves.
What voting rights do I have? In a Community Benefit Society the rule is one member, one vote. So no matter how large your shareholding, you have an equal voice when decisions are taken at General Meetings. Most day to day decisions are taken by the democratically elected management committee.
Can I sell my shares on? No, these shares cannot be sold. They are a special type of share known as a community share. The only way to recover their value is to apply to withdraw your shares from the community venture itself.
How can I get my money back if I need it? To enable the business to build up sufficient reserves and find a permanent base, it is likely to be at least five years before you can apply to withdraw any shares. After that you can apply to the Management Committee to withdraw some or all of your shares. Withdrawal will be at the discretion of the Management Committee who will consider if the business has adequate profits and cash reserves to fund the requested withdrawal. Details of the rules of withdrawal will be voted on by members at AGMs.
Will the business make enough profit for me to withdraw my money in the future? We are hopeful that the business will generate sufficient funds to allow members to withdraw shares, once a long term location is secured.
However we cannot guarantee this and if you already anticipate needing to withdraw your investment you should consider carefully whether this is the right investment for you.

Important points you must consider before investment
When considering buying shares in Week St Mary Community Shop Limited it is important to realise
this is not a conventional financial investment. It is an investment in our community – creating an
asset for us all, and helping to keep Week St Mary a vibrant, thriving and sustainable village. The
main financial points are summarised below and the full details are set out in the Rules of the Society,
copies of which can be obtained from any of the management committee members or viewed on this website.
  1. The minimum shareholding is one share. Each share has a value of £10 and the statutory maximum that can be held by an individual is £100,000. Shares must be paid for in full on application.

  2. There will be no annual Membership Fee to pay.

  3. Shares are not transferable (except on death or bankruptcy) – you cannot sell these shares except to the Society itself for their original value of £10 per share.

  4. The value of shares cannot increase beyond their nominal value of £10. The value may be reduced if liabilities exceed assets (i.e. if the business fails).

  5. Your liability is restricted to the value of your shares. In the unlikely event that the business should fail, you would incur no further liability.

  6. The only way to recover the sum initially invested (or any reduced value) is to give notice of withdrawal. This is unlikely happen for the first five years after trading begins. In line with the Society’s rules and after three years, the specific conditions for withdrawal include:
     • Three months’ notice to be given
     • The Management Committee may specify a maximum total withdrawal each year.
     • Withdrawals must be funded from trading surpluses or new share capital – and are discretionary (i.e. subject to Management Committee being satisfied that this is consistent with long term interests of the Society).

  7. Currently there are no specific rights or plans to pay interest or dividends on these shares. The return should be viewed as a social investment. However, the rules would allow interest to be paid provided the Management Committee is satisfied that this is consistent with the long-term interests of the Society.

  8. All monies invested in this Community Share Offer will be held and not spent until the Management Committee deems the fundraising programme is successful.
    Contributions will be fully repaid in the event that the project does not proceed.

  9. Week St Mary Community Shop Limited’s share offer is exempt from the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 or subsidiary regulations; this means you have no right of complaint to an ombudsman. A Community Benefit Society is registered with but not authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority and therefore the money you pay for the shares is not safeguarded by any depositor protection scheme or dispute resolution scheme. As the whole of your investment could carry risk, please consider this in the context of the complete share offer document and if necessary seek independent advice.

--------------------------------------- 27th December 2016 --------------------------------------




To: Stephen Smith
Tudor House, Week St Mary, EX22 6UL
To: Karen Poole
6 The Glebe, Week St Mary, EX22 6UY
Both Forms are PDFs and should be printed, completed accordingly and delivered to the appropriate named person.

Dear Week St. Mary Parishioner,

Since the open meeting in the Parish Hall on 5th December 2016 gave unanimous approval to try and establish a Community Shop, considerable progress has been made:

• An application has been submitted to register Week St Mary Community Shop Limited with the Financial Conduct Authority. The £550 cost was met by the Parish Council and a fund administered by County Councillor, Nicky Chopak.
A Management Committee has been formed comprising Lee Bacchus (Chairman), Stephen Smith (Treasurer), Karen Poole (Secretary, Sharon Barriball, Brenda Jennings and Andy Jones. Stuart Mealing continues to assist, prior to moving house.
250 copies of the letter, pledge forms and outline business plan discussed at the 5th December 2016 meeting have been distributed within the Community.
89 people have responded with pledges of financial support, totalling £13,835.
21 people have volunteered for the Post Office and/or serving on the till, 6 for general shop help, 11 for odd jobs and 1 who has joined the Management Committee.

Very many thanks to all those who have backed the project so far with pledges of their time and money This level of support means that there is now a very realistic prospect of a shop, owned by and for the benefit of the Community, being set up within the next few months.

However, we still need further offers of support and have therefore decided to extend the pledge period for both financial and volunteer support to Friday 6th January 2017. Forms are available in the shop and on the Community Shop page on the village website at

The Management Committee is now looking at possible opening times, volunteer rotas, whether the organisation structure should involve a full or part time salaried post and preparing the ground for the share issue. Liaison with Bude Post Office is also taking place.

The next steps are:
• Further pledges returned to Stephen Smith (financial) or Karen Poole (volunteers) by 6th January 2017, widening Community involvement.
• Another open meeting will be held in the Parish Hall on Monday 23rd January 2017 to present final proposals and to launch the share issue.
• At the conclusion of that meeting, a meeting of all volunteer helpers will take place.

We are pleased to be able to report such good progress. With some further Community support, we firmly believe a Community Shop, including a Post Office facility, can be operational when, or shortly after, Jeff retires at the end of February.

Wishing you all a Happy New Year.

Lee Bacchus (Chairman)

---------------------------------------- 22nd October 2016 ---------------------------------------

Dear Week St Mary Parishioner,

This letter is from six of the people who volunteered at the Parish meeting held on 20th October 2016 to assess the feasibility of the community taking over the shop and Post Office when, or shortly after, Jeff Roberts retires which will be at the end of February 2017 at the latest.

Our conclusion is that a successful community run operation can be established, providing sufficient voluntary and financial support is forthcoming and shop usage is at an appropriate level. Assuming residents support this recommendation at the meeting tonight, volunteers (“First Members”) will be appointed to form a company and a Management Committee which will take the project forward.

Sources of Finance:
Some preliminary research has been done on grant availability. In any event these would have only formed a relatively small part of the fundraising that is initially required however the tight timescale mitigates against grants contributing meaningfully in the short term.

There is likely to need be a need to initially raise around £30,000 for working capital, some new equipment and set-up costs. We need to establish how much the community is willing to invest by buying shares and/or making a donation and whether there is a genuine willingness in the village to contribute sufficient funds to make the project work.

Legal Structure:
The Management Committee will set up a company in which Parishioners can invest by buying shares. The primary objective of the company is to run the shop for the benefit of the community, and in the longer term, if there is any surplus, to use this for the benefit of the wider community of Week St Mary. The company itself will be a Community Benefit Society and will be registered with, and regulated by, the Financial Conduct Authority.

Anyone who invests the minimum of (probably) £10 ie the price of a single share, will have a vote and therefore a say in the affairs of the business at General Meetings, whilst a Management Team will be a committee of members overseeing the day-to-day running of the business. Of course, bigger share holdings are welcomed (legal maximum is £100,000) but the business will operate strictly on a one member, one vote basis, regardless of how many shares you hold.

The Company will not pay interest to shareholders but you may be able to recoup your initial investment in the future by withdrawing your shares which are taken back by the Company. To give the business a chance to establish itself and identify a permanent home, we will need to agree an initial period of at least 5 years during which time the buying back of shares will be restricted, but thereafter the expectation is that there may be profits to fund withdrawals within parameters agreed by the members.

Business Plan:
We have prepared an outline business plan and believe that with community members’ support, the business will be profitable, providing it responds to what you, our community, needs. It is recommended that a full-time manager is engaged and that the post is advertised.

The first stage is to rent the current shop premises for a period of 4 years and then to either:
   • Acquire the freehold of the current shop premises as a permanent base;
   • Relocate to an alternative (not yet identified) site in the village, or
   • Seek to extend the initial rental arrangement.

A further round of fund raising would be necessary to acquire the freehold of the current shop premises, as may a relocation. Grant funding would be sought.

How You Can Help?
The more people who are able to pledge a donation, however small, or buy shares, and the wider the section of the community that is involved in our project, the greater the likelihood of success.

To help judge the level of support there is, it would be appreciated if you would fill in the enclosed form with how much money you are prepared to pledge. No money changes hands at this stage, and this is not a final commitment on your part. More financial information and details of the proposals will be provided early in the New Year before you decide whether you would like to buy shares or make a donation.

Please try and return your form to:
Stephen Smith, Tudor House, Week St Mary, EX22 6UL by 16th December 2016.

We appreciate that many of you will want your pledges to be kept confidential and so only Stephen Smith will open the envelopes and will provide others with the totals only.

Aside from offering financial support, equally vital is that sufficient people volunteer to help run the shop and Post Office and provide back-up services.

Two links can be found below, one for the PLEDGE FORM and another for the VOLUNTEER FORM which should be returned to Karen Poole, 6 The Glebe, Week St Mary, EX22 6UY by 16th December 2016.

If you have any questions about the formation of the Week St Mary Community Shop or the proposed share structure, please contact any of the feasibility study group members below.

Yours sincerely,

     Stuart Mealing (Co-ordinator)

On behalf of the feasibility study group:
Sharon Barriball, Brenda Jennings, Stuart Mealing, Karen Poole, Stephen Smith & Anna Willoughby

To: Stephen Smith
Tudor House, Week St Mary, EX22 6UL
To: Karen Poole
6 The Glebe, Week St Mary, EX22 6UY
Both Forms are PDFs and should be printed, completed accordingly and delivered to the appropriate named person.
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