0845 458 0060 - f3 : food for a sustainable economy, environment and community mail@localfood.org.uk

The Store is the Core scheme provided one-to-one coaching, advisory support and training seminars more than 200 village and community retailers across south-west England from 2010-2013.

f3 has prepared an evaluation of the programme. For example, participating retailers saw turnover boosted by 9.4% on average.

The report also outlines challenges and opportunities for the future of village shops.

“National and local government may need to recognise the value of village shops not just to the local economy, but as a key part of the social fabric of rural life,” it said. “As such, preferential conditions in relation to business rates, tax relief, VAT, and rural transport may need to be created.”

Plans to restructure the Post Office network could have a very negative effect on shop viability and survival, the report adds.

Read the report