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Wednesday, 18 May 2011

New village shop has ‘green’ credentials

After four and a half years of hard work by the local community Woodgreen Village Shop will be officially open this Saturday. Not only will it benefit local communities but it has also been designed to be environmentally friendly.

Villagers secured a £25,000 grant from the New Forest National Park Authority’s Sustainable Development Fund in 2009 to help towards the ‘green’ aspects of its the construction. The grant helped provide energy saving measures such as an air-source heat pump and heat recovery ventilation unit to utilise the warm air generated by appliances and increase efficiency in temperature control.

Andrea Finn of Woodgreen Community Shop Association Limited, said: ‘One of our aims in constructing a new village shop and post office was to design something that fitted in with, and benefitted the environment. As far as possible we have used local companies, sustainable materials and included energy saving technology. We are pleased with what we have been able to achieve with money from the Sustainable Development Fund.

‘It has been a long journey and I am proud of what the Woodgreen Community Shop Association Committee has achieved the support of Woodgreen, Breamore, Godshill and Hale villagers. We are also grateful to organisations such as the New Forest National Park Authority in helping us access grant funds. The new building has cost around £340,000; we raised £110,000 from village events and the rest from grants and a co-operative and community finance loan. It has been a long journey, but the benefit this will have to local communities is priceless.’

Andy Brennan, Sustainable Development Officer at the Authority, said: ‘The Authority’s Sustainable Development Fund is designed to help and support local communities with projects that will deliver environmental, economic and community benefits to the New Forest.

‘We are pleased to have helped support the work of the Woodgreen Community Shop Association, they are a fantastic example of a community working together to retain the vitality of local villages, and they have given a lot of consideration about how to make the building environmentally friendly. They are also supporting local producers and hope to stock at least 20 per cent of food from local sources.’

The National Park Authority also granted planning permission for the new premises.

The Woodgreen Community Shop will be having its grand opening with an opening ceremony on Saturday 14 May at 11:30am, followed by live music, stalls and displays. There will be a hog roast at 6pm, with a Barbeque, beer tent and band at the Horse and Groom Pub. For more information visit www.woodgreencommunityshop.org.

Find out more about the Sustainable Development Fund and if you have a project that is eligible by visiting www.newforestnpa.gov.uk/sustainable_development_fund_new

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