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Store Handover

Handover of the store from builder CPFM Construction to Candover Valley Community Store chairman Jane Laws on 17th May 2019.

Six months after work started on construction of a brand new community store and post office in Preston Candover, the building has officially been handed over to Candover Valley Community Store committee chairman Jane Laws. Christian McCabe, main contractor and owner of Alresford-based CPFM Construction presented Jane with the key outside the front doors of the building on Friday 17 May.

The 95sqm building is due to open for trading at 10.00am on  Monday 10 June once final fit-out and stocking is completed.  The post office will open the following day at 2.00pm.

“This is such a milestone for us,” said Jane Laws. “It has been a long journey to reach this point and we are all so thrilled to see this lovely building coming alive. Inside the store is a bright, airy space that will provide an array of useful and tempting goods available seven days a week as well as a cheerful welcome for locals and passers-by. We are immensely grateful to everyone whose generosity and hard work has ensured this vital local amenity is not lost.”

Candover Valley Store will offer a range of groceries, fresh meat, fruit and vegetables as well as chilled and frozen foods with the focus on local produce wherever possible. Greetings cards, gift items and wines will be available too. A range of useful services will be available at the post office counter.

A small coffee area with tables and chairs will allow customers to relax while they shop and enjoy a hot drink with a slice of homemade cake or a sandwich and a chat with friends. Free WiFi will also be provided.

The store will be open from 8.00am until 6.00pm during the week with shorter hours on Saturday and half-day opening on Sundays.

A team of volunteers will help to run the store alongside recently appointed manager Garry Green and local resident and mother of two, Emma Simpson in the assistant manager role.

Funds of £220,000 to build, fit out and stock the store were raised through a share scheme, donations from local benefactors and grants from a variety of institutions including Hampshire County Council, Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council, The Prince’s Countryside Fund, National Lottery Awards for All and the Linbury Trust.

For further information about volunteering to help in the store or about becoming a shareholder, or call Jane Laws (01256 389491) or Lucy Muncey (01256 389338).

Open Morning – Sat 26-Jan 10:00 – 12:30

You are warmly invited to Preston Candover Village Hall on the morning of Saturday 26th January between 10:00 and 12:30.

Join us for coffee and get the latest information about the community store. Weather permitting we hope to be able to show you round the outside of the store and update you about our plans for the fit-out programme; the recruitment process for paid managers; and details of our volunteer programme.

This is an opportunity to come and tell us what you would like to see in the store and hear about our plans and stocklist. We won’t be able to stock everything but we want to be able to respond to the needs of our customers as much as possible.

May 30th Update from the Committee

Thank you to everyone who has contributed to the fund raising effort so far. To date we have received £85,000 towards our target of £200,000.

The plan is to raise funds by seeking donations and grants and by creating the share membership scheme.

A substantial sum has already been donated thanks to a number of generous local people. The first major grant application will be made in June and now shares are on offer to the public.

By buying one or more shares in the Community Store (CVCS Ltd) anyone can become a member, which both helps financially and shows support for the project.

It is important to have a large number of members from the community, in order to access grants.

We are halfway through the 2 month window when the share membership scheme is open.

Money is coming through but we need to continue the momentum.

We truly believe that a new shop and post office will be of huge practical and social benefit to the Candover Valley.

This is an opportunity to create a worthwhile and lasting community asset.

Each and every person can be involved by buying shares and contributing from £20 to £2000.

Each house should have received a pack and application form but if you have not, they are available in the Canterton Stores or to download from the website

Let’s Make This Happen

January 2018

Happy New Year! 

We are delighted to report that positive progress has been made on the project to provide a community store in Preston Candover.

There is now agreement in place for the store to be sited alongside the village hall, on Preston Farms land and about 15 metres to the north of the hall.
Lord Sainsbury has agreed to lease the necessary land and the village hall has agreed to share the carpark for customer parking and to allow pedestrian access to the new store.

The store will be a simple, timber clad single storey building with a pitched roof and a covered entrance porch at one corner.  Smaller in scope and scale than the original proposal there will be no vehicle parking or landscaping on the field to minimise its impact. The planning application has been submitted.

As such, the store committee invites all valley residents to an informal information event in the village hall on Saturday 20th January 2018 from 10am until 1.15pm at which the plans and drawings will be displayed.  Committee members will be available to answer any questions.  We will ensure there is enough time following the event for comments to be made to Basingstoke and Deane’s planning department before the consultation period expires.

Once planning permission is granted, fund raising will begin in earnest and we will be calling upon support from the whole community. Indeed, 2018 looks to be a very exciting year for the community store project.

Canterton Stores – New opening hours and Staff Required

In the meantime, Jane and Rob continue to support the project from Canterton Stores for which we remain very grateful. They are trialling new hours in January and have asked us to inform you that the shop will now open at 10am and close at 4.30pm. (with Wed and Sat remaining 1/2 days.)

They also have staff vacancies for Wed am, Friday pm and alternate Saturdays so if you’re looking for a few hours work a week please call Rob or Jane on 01256 389241.

We hope to see many of you on 20th January and look forward to an exciting 2018.

May 2017

As we left you at the turn of 2017 we were awaiting building quotes on the Village Hall extension and were ready to press the button on the fundraising programme this spring. So what’s happened? In short, it became apparent that the costs involved in extending the Village Hall were escalating for both the CVCS committee and the Village Hall Trustees, and the complications of building an extension to the Village Hall were too great to make the plan workable.

The CVCS and Village Hall committees remain fully committed to the project and are striving to bring the benefits of a community store to the Candover Valley. We do however need to make sure the building is value for money before asking you to invest.   We must give the store the best chance of long term success from the outset.

The latest news is that we have now agreed in principle to build a separate building next to the Village Hall, and standing mainly on its land. The building will look very similar to the plans already in place (see Extension to the Village Hall – Drawings and Plans) and be in the same location except for a fire gap between the two buildings.

We are considering a chalet-style timber building, pre-fabricated and assembled on site. Costs will be lower, the build time quicker and it will simplify the working relationship between the CVCS and Village Hall Trustees going forward. We hope to be able to report more progress next month.

Please be assured that we are still working hard to make the store and post office a reality. Once again, our huge thanks to Rob and Jane at Canterton Stores for their incredible patience.

January 2017

Most readers will be aware that there is a long-standing project to open a new community store to replace the present shop in Preston Candover, which is set to close. During 2016, considerable progress was made with the project and we thought an update from the Chairmen of the two committees would be helpful.

Agreement was reached to build the new shop as an extension to Preston Candover Village Hall, on their land and to be in their ownership. Thus it will be a true community asset and, when fully operational, will generate income for the Village Hall and other local causes in the Valley.

Thanks to the help of a few generous local people, the architect (ProVision) was commissioned, and designed a sympathetic building, cleverly linked to the Hall, but operationally independent of it.

Planning permission was achieved during the summer, large-scale drawings suitable for tendering and building regulations were made, and at the time of writing, quotations from several local builders are awaited.

The business plan envisages a shop selling a wide range of everyday essentials at competitive prices, some locally sourced specialties, gifts and cards, wine, spirits and tobacco products. It is planned to retain the Post Office, which is an important element in the mix.   There will also be an area with newspapers and magazines, and tea, coffee and light bites available to eat in or take away. It is expected that this will be a popular venue at the centre of the village.

The shop will be run by a management committee and volunteers, and will be supported by a full-time paid manager. This model has been widely adopted throughout the country for community shops and pubs, and is successful in most of the places where it operates. The Plunkett Foundation, a charity specialising in this type of project, continues to provide invaluable advice.

The next stage, which starts in early 2017, it is to raise the necessary funds to build the extension and equip and stock the shop.   It is likely to be a substantial six-figure sum. Most of this must be raised from local people living in and around the Valley, supplemented by various grants. Almost all grants require the community to raise an equal amount before application. Thus every thousand pounds donated will potentially unlock a similar amount in grants, making it important to raise as much money as possible at an early stage.

The project is well on its way, and with the support of everyone, both financially and in kind, will become a reality in 2017.

Richard Walker, Chair CVCS


Adam Alexander, Chair Village Hall


December 2016

in collaboration with Preston Candover Village Hall.


December 2016

Recent Project Progress …


The architect, in close co-operation with the Village Hall and the Store committee, has completed the detailed drawings and specifications. The tender documents have been issued to the selected local builders, and quotations are due back this month. We will then be able to establish a clear fundraising target and timeline.

We aim to minimise disruption to the Hall and its activities as much as possible. To this end, the planned renewal of the Hall heating system will be integrated with the extension’s building programme.

 Grants & Fundraising

An application to the Gannett Foundation has been submitted. Most funds are granted for specific items of expenditure and this one, if successful, will go towards the new heating system for the village hall.

November 2016

Coming in 2017 – Your Community Store!

We are very excited to announce that planning permission for the extension to the village hall – which will be home to your new community store – has been granted!

Thank you to those of you who wrote to B&DBC in support of the application.

We are currently working with the architect to prepare the detailed specification and drawings before sending it to 5 local builders to tender for the build.

The 344th UK Community shop has recently opened in Devon where it aims to contribute to the, “village in a way that enriches the lives of the volunteers and customers reducing isolation as well as making food available locally and more conveniently.”

This sums up the ambition of the Candover Valley Community Store project and we are more determined than ever to achieve it.

The New Year will see the launch of our fundraising appeals, which will enable everyone to contribute and be a part of this community project.

October 2016


Planning Permission Granted!

We are very excited to announce that planning permission for the extension to the village hall – which will be home to your new community store – has been granted!

Thank you to those of you who wrote to B&DBC in support of the application.