The key aim of this project, run by Stawley Rural Community Initiative, was to maximise the opportunity for parking through creation of additional parking spaces at the newly relocated Stawley Village Shop and Community Post Office, in order to protect the long-term viability of the trade.
ABOUT THE PROJECT
The lack of sufficient parking facilities impinged on the viability of the community shop. The provision of further spaces removed the barrier for passing trade and allowed greater access for all members of the community not only for the shop but also the small community room. By relocating some staff cars (as the site is shared with Stawley Primary School) the spaces were freed for use as above.
The project to establish a village shop and to relocate the Post Office had taken more than 4 years with initial preparations taking place as long ago as 1999. The project gained momentum when the previous Postmistress neared retirement age and it was essential to find new premises or lose the service altogether. After identifying a building and working through the very long tasks of gaining relevant planning permission, negotiating a lease and obtaining all the necessary funding, the new Village Shop and Post Office finally opened in February 2006.
The shop is well patronised by local people and is a general store but also specialising in supplying local produce. However it became apparent that the lack of parking was proving to be a real issue since staff needed to park in front of the school but likewise visitors to the shop couldn’t be expected to park further away and then carry heavy bags of shopping; specifically the elderly or infirm were unable to benefit from the provision of a local retail outlet.
Furthermore, during peak drop off and pick up times at the school parents and carers were completely blocking access and in fact the area became extremely hazardous and the safety of the school children was compromised.
The Access To Services grant enabled the construction of a new staff car park behind the school and this has meant that up to 4 cars can be safely parked there all day and spaces are more readily available at the front of the building for users of the shop and community room. The access for parents, visitors and delivery vehicles is much safer and people using the computer facilities in the community room can also leave vehicles parked for longer periods without fear of reprisal.
The shop proprietors James and Sheri Corry have noticed big improvement in shop traffic and many customers of the shop are pleased with the improved accessibility.