A VILLAGE which saw the closure of its only shop last year has welcomed the opening of a new store thanks to the landlords of the local pub.

Dinton’s village shop was shut a year ago but last Thursday the ribbon was cut on a new community store and bakery in the Penruddocke Arms, in Hindon Road.

The idea was that of owners Matt Keel and Carly Hunt, who have transformed the old games room at the side of the pub into the shop.

The pair were given the support from Pub is the Hub, an organisation which helps landlords and owners create a community hub in their pubs, and were guided by local advisor Reg Clarke.

Carly, who grew up in the village, said: “When we heard that the old shop was closing, I really wanted to take it on but it was just too far from the pub to make it viable for us. It was our accountant who suggested that we look at redeveloping the old games room and to contact Pub is The Hub for advice.

“We have been open for a couple of weeks now and it has gone far better than we thought it would.”

Carly and Matt were also awarded a grant of £1,500 from the organisation’s Community Services Fund towards the cost of the refurbishment

“With our own investment and the grant from Pub is The Hub we hope that the shop will save the villagers from having to drive too far for their everyday groceries,” Carly added.

“We’re even going to start up a delivery service for those who can’t drive to us – I have children at the school so I’m in the village twice a day.”

The special ceremony last week was attended by Margaret Tonson, the village’s long-serving former postmistress and shopkeeper.

Carly added that the pub was honoured to have Mrs Tonson at the VIP opening, adding: “She has been a big part of Dinton for many years and it feels as though this is her seal of approval.”

The shop is accessible through a separate door to the pub and is open seven days a week from 7.30am to 6.30pm from Monday to Saturday and from 8am to 4pm on Sunday.

It sells newspapers, convenience foods and local produce and is staffed entirely by family members, including Matt and Carly’s mums and two sisters.