£20,000 boost for farm shop to become grocery store

Laura Burrell

Laura Burrell Buy this photo

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A BIG vision could become a reality for a little shop in Gorley after scooping a £20,000 cash boost from Hampshire County Council.

Hockey’s Farm Shop in Gorley has been given the Village Shop grant to build a new store on the site.

The new store would sell a wider range of local produce, bakery and dairy items.

The funding has been matched by the new owners Laura and Robin Stainton-Burrell, who want to turn the hidden gem into an eco-friendly community facility.

The plans will mean that residents will have a bigger shop on their doorsteps without the need to travel three miles into Fordingbridge.

Mrs Stainton-Burrell said: “Our vision is to build a reputable family shop with a bigger butcher shop to showcase our goods.

“We have asked the locals what they want to see us selling and slowly we are increasing our range. We are getting pigs this week, British Lops, which are an endangered species and we will start to breed from them. We also have bantam chickens and are getting orphan lambs.

“We have a butcher who makes sausages and burgers on site and we will be extending our ranges when we extend the store.”

She added: “Hockey’s is in such an idyllic spot that eventually I would like a café here, so families can come and do their shopping and meet up with friends. We are very excited about our plans.”

Hampshire County Council’s assistant executive member for business and rural economy Andrew Gibson said: “Village shops are often a lifeline for the vulnerable and can play an integral part in the vitality and vibrancy of a village community.

“We have been working with village shops in Hampshire to help increase footfall and ensure sustainability through the Hampshire Village Shops Grant scheme.” The Hampshire Village Shops Grant Scheme is targeted at villages with fewer than 5,000 residents, which either have no shop or just one shop in their community.

Community associations, village shop associations, parish and district councils can apply for a grant.

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