The project to ensure the survival of the shop and the Royal Oak now has 117 members who have so far raised over £100,000 between them. This is a very heartening start, but we still have some way to go. We need both to raise more money and to extend the membership so that Heart of the Village becomes more representative of the whole village. That means you…and you!
Everyone needs to be fully aware that whatever happens, the shop and the Oak under current ownership are on borrowed time, and unless we are able to buy the Oak and transfer the shop into it (which makes much better economic sense than buying the shop) the village will lose these services and become a diminished place.
When on the other hand we do get HOTV going in earnest, there are so many benefits besides the preservation of the current services that future generations in Stoke St Gregory will thank us all for our vision. We are planning to energise the Oak with all sorts of new ideas, from a café with happy hour at school drop-off time, to a much enhanced pub garden. Because it will be a community business, everyone will have a say in how it is run and what is provided in the shop.
We set a time limit on the share offer originally, to encourage people to get a move on, but we are extending this by popular demand to give more people the opportunity to get involved. Please find out more about the project in the shop or on our website, hotvssg.org. Application forms can be downloaded from the site or picked up in the Village Stores, though you should also have had one delivered recently by one of our enthusiastic supporters.