Community celebrates - as village shop gets set to re-open... (18-01-2013)One of the best known stop off points for visitors and locals in north Ceredigion is getting set to re-open in the New Year - after winning funding from Big Lottery Fund’s Village SOS scheme.
One of the best known stop off points for visitors and locals in north Ceredigion is getting set to re-open in the New Year - after winning funding from Big Lottery Fund’s Village SOS scheme.
Supporters, volunteers and soon-to-be shoppers joined the project team at Cletwr Cafe, Tre'rddol, near Aberyswyth to celebrate the £45,000 grant at a Christmas party and prize giving on Sunday (15 December) in what will soon be their new village shop.
Cwmni Cymunedol Cletwr, set up this time last year, applied for a pilot project - Siop Cynfelin - to open up the shop and a small cafe to assess demand whilst plans for a major project, including re-opening the petrol station itself, are finalised.
And more than 250 of the 500 or so local people backing the project took the chance to find out more about what the future holds at Sunday's fund-raising event.
"It's fantastic news that our bid has been successful, and it is a tribute to the commitment and generosity of everyone involved that we are going to be able to make a start on this ambitious project,” said Shelagh Hourahane for the group.
"Now the hard work starts, we are already ordering new shop equipment, our team of volunteers are getting ready to help with re-decorating and renovating the building itself and we are hoping to be able to open doors for the first time in a little over two months time," she said.
And Ceredigion AM Elin Jones has pledged her support to the Siop Cynfelin project: "I have previously met with representatives from the group and they have very exciting plans to provide a much valued community service - with all profits from this community enterprise reinvested for the benefit of the local area.
“I look forward to supporting this community enterprise over the coming months as they progress their plans to re-open the shop and café, and I wish them every success for the future”.
Surveys carried out by Cwmni Cletwr over the last 12 months show there is a real need for this important site which not only serves the community but is also one of the traditional stop off points for motorists visiting Ceredigion.
And already more than 80 people living in the parish - which has a population of just over 600 - have pledged to help during the build up, and to run the shop once it is ready for business.
The long term objective includes a completely re-vamped modern service station, an attractive, welcoming café and fully stocked shop providing the ideal stop off point for visitors as well as essential services for locals with tourist information and displays about the heritage of the area.
"It’s almost a year now since we made the first moves to see if there was enough support to re-open the Cletwr site as a community-run business," said Shelagh. "We've had fantastic response from local people, cash donations which have helped us get started and money raising events that have been very well attended. Now we're looking forward to starting make the dream of a community run enterprise a reality."