Fittleworth Store’s first AGM & Funding update

Fittleworth Shop and playground artist impression


Fittleworth Stores held their first shareholders’ AGM at the end of January. They had around 70 shareholders in attendance and some interesting discussion around volunteering and the interest in a post office in light of the mobile van service that now visits the village. There was overwhelming support for establishing a post office local service in the shop, open for the same hours as the shop. Although the shop and café will be staffed by a paid manager and assistant manager these 2 individuals will not be able to run the post office local without support. They will need at least 6 individuals who are prepared to commit to volunteering for at least 4 hours per week in the post office. Post office volunteers would be fully trained up in post office tasks. When the post office is not busy these volunteers will be able to carry out duties in the shop and café so they will still be fully fledged members of the shop team. If not enough people come forward to volunteer to help run the post office then we will not be able to take on this aspect. So, if you think this is a valuable service our shop should be offering and have some time to spare each week please do think about becoming a post office volunteer. If you are interested please get in touch as soon as possible (please email either or

The AGM also provided an opportunity to report back on the financial performance of the business over the past year. Although the focus of the AGM was the shop, the playground project and the shop project are closely linked and so they looked at the costs and funding for the combined projects. The projected cost for the combined project is £403,000 (comprising £276,000 for the shop and £127,000 for the playground and youth area projects).

The breakdown of costs on the two projects is as follows:

The costs for the shop construction are shown as to be confirmed.

At the time of the AGM they had raised £376,000 through received or pledged funds and there was a further £14,400 of income they felt confident we would receive (from outstanding grant applications and the gift aid scheme). This brought a total of £390,400. With the projected costs of £403,000 this left a small funding shortfall of £12,600.

They concluded our AGM with an appeal for donors to cover this final funding gap of £12,600 and the village rallied around. Within a short time a number had stepped forward offering donations to cover this amount. They now have all of the £403,000 required for the projects. We are looking to start construction in April with the shop and playground due to open in October.

If you missed the AGM, all the documents are available on the website –

Funding details

Here is a summary of where the funds have been sourced from:

In addition to the £401,523 they have a small amount of further anticipated income (from a small outstanding grant and contributions from the gift aid scheme) which will take them just over our £403,000 target.

Playground equipment – new homes needed

They are still looking for new homes for some of the existing playground equipment that will be removed to make way for our new children’s playground (some of it will be going to our Village School). Do you know any local community groups or organisations or perhaps a local pub or café that might want some equipment? There is no charge for the items which will be provided on an as seen basis. If you might be interested please get in contact with us at and we can provide some more information as to what is available and when.

Local produce raffle

Thanks to Linda Ball who organised the recent raffle of local produce (and a few items which were not quite so local such as the rather wonderful Fortnum & Mason hamper!) which was drawn at the February village market. The raffle raised just over £420.

What have the Shop Committee been up to this month?

  • Been doing some serious forward planning scheduling out all of the tasks needed to ensure our shop and café are open in October
  • Celebrating our latest grant success – with thanks to Chichester District Council who have awarded the Parish Council an £8,000 grant towards the playground
  • Agreed Heads of Terms for the lease which will be put in place between the Parish Council and Fittleworth Community Shop Limited for the use of the part of the recreation ground on which the shop will be built


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