A COMMUNITY has banded together to help breathe new life into its village shop.

At Abbotts Ann’s carnival in August, the village shop, which has been run by the community for the past 11 years, launched a plan to find out what residents wanted on its shelves.

And following 2,000 questionnaires being handed out, a refurbishment of the shop has now been finished, taking on board recommendations.

Village estate agent Bournes has also come on board the project by agreeing to donate £250 to the village shop every time a house is sold. So far, the shop has received £250 and is awaiting the completion of another sale.

Julian Blackmore, of Bournes, said: “People take it a little bit too much for granted and forget the value of the shop on the houses – it’s to do with the people who have volunteered to run the shop for the past ten years.

“Without the shop and the Post Office particularly, you take ten per cent off the value of the houses.”

Results from the questionnaire found that villagers would like to see the shop open for longer, which is being considered by the village shop committee.

Chairwoman Jill Else said: “We have been going for 11 years and the demographic of the village has changed as have the requirements.

“We have a lot of older people who want small portions and small loaves and we have a lot of young families.

“Everything is evolving and we felt we needed feedback from the community.”

The shop also plans to create a bistro area, where customers can relax and enjoy a cup of tea or coffee, or a hot pie.