Building work starts on new Fife shop

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The village of Dunshalt is celebrating another fundraising success which will ensure building work on their village shop is to begin by March.

The community is celebrating after securing a key funding pledge of more than £85,000 from Fife LEADER, a European funding programme.

The £85,032.72 pledged by LEADER will be used to fund the renovation work on the derelict shop building which was purchased by the community last year, to purchase new fittings for the shop and will help fund the salary of the shop manager in the opening months.

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Eleanor Porter, chair of the Dunshalt Community Shop Steering Group, said: “The news that Fife LEADER are going to provide us with funding to renovate the building and help us create a very special shop and community hub which will be the heart of Dunshalt is a fantastic start to the year.

“This pledge has been given to match funding we have already been granted by the Scottish Land Fund, the Princes Countryside Fund and from our fantastic shareholders – all of whom are key to making this happen.”

When the only shop closed in May 2016, Dunshalt lost the glue that kept the community together.

There is no pub, school or church in the village and when the shop went, the community lost the only place where people bumped into each other and shared their news. Villagers with cars now rely on them for everything when previously they would use the local shop.

Those residents that are dependent on public transport, particularly the elderly are often waiting for two hours or more to return from nearby towns, even if all they need are a few basic groceries.