Village secures funds to buy local shop

The shop has been empty since 2016.
The shop has been empty since 2016.

Residents of one north east Fife village are celebrating after securing the funding needed to purchase their local shop.

Dunshalt was awarded £97,500 by the Scottish Land Fund, which will be used to purchase the currently empty building and renovate it.

Shares in the shop will be sold for £25 each, with any profit being made being used to support projects in and around Dunshalt.

The shop, the only one in the village, and Post Office were closed in May 2016, leaving many villagers disappointed.

It meant many residents needing to buy essentials had to travel.

Eleanor Porter, chair of the Dunshalt Community Shop Steering Group, said: “This is absolutely fantastic news for us in Dunshalt.

“Winning the Scottish Land Fund’s support means we can buy the building and move ahead with the community share issue.

“This will be a community-owned shop in the truest sense. Everyone – both living in the village and those who just care about sustaining rural life – will have a chance to buy shares knowing that every penny the shop makes will go back into supporting the village community.

“Our job now is to begin the share the issue which will raise the money needed to complete the extensive renovations that we know need doing and to employ a shop manager.”

News of the funding was welcomed by local politicians.

Stephen Gethins MP said: “I know everyone involved is working really hard to turn this vision into a reality and I’m delighted that Dunshalt has been successful in securing this key award 
from the Scottish Land Fund.

“I now wish them the best of luck for the community share issue and I am looking forward to visiting the shop when it is up and running.

“I’m very pleased that Fife’s first community-share owned shop will be in north east Fife. Rural communities across the area have suffered from the loss of banks, post offices and libraries so this is very welcome news.”

Willie Rennie also congratulated the village: “This is an impressive effort from some very dedicated local people with the local community rallying in behind them.

“It’s a great step towards the aim of retaining a shop at the heart of the village.

“There’s still a lot of work to be done to make this a success but I am sure everyone will redouble their efforts to deliver the full benefits of a great community owned facility.”