Village shop scoops environmental award

Bicester Advertiser: Barbara Vaughan and volunteer George Peake, 17 Barbara Vaughan and volunteer George Peake, 17

A COMMUNITY shop has been awarded for its dedication to helping the environment.

Tackley Village Shop in Medcroft Road won the better environment category of the Plunkett Foundation’s first UK Rural Community Ownership Awards, which celebrate community groups delivering services in their area.

The shop, celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, was recognised after stocking shelves with local produce, using energy from solar panels and ground source heating, and encouraging 100 homes in the village to sign up for energy audits.

Director Barbara Vaughan said: “It was a nice 10th birthday present but I was completely taken aback.

“I was very surprised and delighted for the village.

“Even after all these years we still get tremendous support from the community.”

A group of residents decided to set up the shop 15 years ago after two shops and a pub closed down.

They spent four years raising £400,000 to create the shop and refurbish the adjoining village hall. There are now about 50 volunteers who work in the shop and in other services such as deliveries and administration work.

The shop worked alongside the village hall, St Nicholas’ Church and Tackley Methodist Church four years ago to secure a £150,000 grant from the British Gas Green Streets scheme, which helps communites save money through cutting energy use. All four buildings use energy from solar panels fitted on the village hall roof, while the shop also uses underground pipes to provide natural heating.

About 25 per cent of households signed up for the audit project, which monitors fuel consumption and makes environmental modifications to homes.

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