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Issue 303 – £12,000 for Mendip village

It’s café mochas all round for residents of Mells as they celebrate being one of the first communities to benefit from Somerset County Council’s Rural Services Fund.

Mells has been allocated £12,000 from the Rural Services Fund to help the community-run village shop set up and run a café as an added feature of the store. The Rural Services Fund is a capital grant scheme, which has been created to help local groups develop and maintain rural services such as community shops, post offices and to set up training facilities.
Bobby Hanscomb, who applied for the grant on behalf of the shop said, “I’m thrilled that we have been given this funding. Being able to set up a café alongside the village shop will help the business to become more viable, whilst also helping us to sell more locally sourced products.”
Capital grants ranging from £5,000 to £25,000 are still available from Somerset County Council. To be eligible for funding, applicants need to show how their project can contribute to boosting the local economy. This could be through the creation of jobs, new opportunities for training and skills or developing a new shop for the benefit of the wider community.
Cllr Matthew Ellis, local member for Mendip North East said, “This is great news for Mells. I’m delighted that Somerset County Council has been able to assist in the development of the village shop and café, which will be a great asset to the community.”
Cllr David Hall, Somerset County Council’s cabinet member for economic development said, “Somerset County Council are dedicated to helping the local economy and communities. I would urge other local groups who think they may be eligible to come forward and find out about how they may be able to benefit from the Somerset Rural Services Fund.”
For more information about the Somerset Rural Services Fund and to request an application form please contact Paul Chadwick on 01823 358060, or email