Counter revolution as volunteer-run store opens its doors in village pub

A SHOP has opened in a North Yorkshire village under a pioneering community initiative after the previous store closed more than 20 years ago.

The new shop is located in the George and Dragon pub in Hudswell, near Richmond, which has become a focus for the community.

A village co-operative raised 220,000 to buy the pub after it had itself closed in 2008.

The pub also houses a library and has community allotments in a field at its rear – but the shop is now providing a vital resource that has been missing for more than two decades.

The new venture, which opened just before Christmas and is called The Little Shop, is housed in an annex of the pub and is staffed by volunteers seven days a week, although its opening times are limited.

It sells local produce including vegetables, bread and beer.

Hudswell Community Pub chairman, Paul Cullen, said: "People may not have valued the village store at the time, and they preferred to go to supermarkets.

"But I think that there has been a growing realisation that if you don't use it, you will lose it, and the takings for the village shop have been very promising so far," he added.

Villagers reached their 220,000 target to buy the George and Dragon pub in February last year.