The Hinton St George community has been given a big boost by South Somerset District Council (SSDC) after a 20-year fixed-rate loan of £190,000 for the community shop known as Our SHOP was given to replace its current variable-rate commercial mortgage.
Today, 9 February 2016, SSDC and Hinton St. George and Locality Rural Community Services Ltd (HRCS), the Community Benefit Society that owns and operates Our SHOP on behalf of its 380 members, signed the loan agreement.
HRCS Chairman David Clements said, “This is a major step forward for us in securing the future of Our SHOP, as it protects us against future interest rate rises. Our SHOP with its Post Office has a steadily growing turnover and continues to provide a key service to Hinton St. George and surrounding villages, which is particularly important in view of the current lack of a Post Office in central Crewkerne. We provide a vital lifeline to the elderly who are unable to leave their houses to shop, as well as being a hub of the community. We are hugely grateful to SSDC for granting us this loan”.
Paul Maxwell, SSDC Ward Member for Eggwood Ward said, “This is exactly the sort of purpose for which Community Loans are intended and the proposal received the unanimous support of Council members. We are delighted to be able to help to secure the future of such an important community asset and the village is to be congratulated on the efforts it has made to keep Our SHOP and Post Office open and in making it an attractive and welcoming place in which to shop”.
Councillor Peter Seib, Portfolio Holder for Finance at South Somerset District Council said, “It was an easy decision to support this community venture. Hinton St. George gains an enormous social benefit from the shop and their specific problem was the scale of the finance required, which is where we could help with a loan”.
Visit www.ourshophinton.org for more information about the shop.