The Road to Creaton Village Shop
There have been shops in Creaton for well over 100 years and in living memory there were two shops and a butcher’s. However, as with many villages, these facilities closed and Creaton was left with one combined shop and Post Office for several decades. In 2015 the owners announced their intention to retire, and with no buyers for the shop coming forwards, the shop was scheduled to close by the end of 2017. This would have resulted in the loss of a not just our shop and Post Office, but also of our communal hub.
Creaton Parish Council started the journey to a new shop with a number of open meetings which resulted in the formation of Creaton SOS (‘Save Our Shop’) in November 2016. By Spring 2017, support from the village and the surrounding communities was such that Creaton Community Benefit Society was formed to manage the project and the subsequent shop. Initially 130 people bought shares totalling £80,000, a clear sign that this venture is backed by the community. A further £57,000 came from an EU Grant and another £10,000 from The National Lottery.
The building sits on land owned by Tom and Alan Gillott, and work started on it just after Easter 2018. The construction was planned and organised by Bill Warden and Ben Hall, with Ben taking the role as Project Manager alongside his day job. Once the shop was nearing completion, Operations Director Simon Robinson took to planning the internal fit out and the procurement of shelving, freezers and stock. The shop opened for business at the end of August 2018, and had an official opening ceremony on September 8th 2018.
The community shop is one of a growing number of community enterprises around the country where local people have organised themselves to save and run a valuable community asset. Creaton is the latest shop of its type in Northamptonshire and is pleased to have retained the Post Office, providing all the services that its predecessor did.