Shop suggestion to help village of Ferryden

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PROPOSALS have been put forward to provide a community shop to fill the void left by the closure last year of Ferryden’s combined shop.

While Post Office Limited now runs a replacement outreach postal service from Inchbrayock Church hall, which was introduced last October, nothing has so far replaced the shop which is still missed by villagers.

The shop and post office closed last summer due the difficult economic climate. With little passing traffic flow in Ferryden, owner Brian Noble relied largely on the village residents but said that this alone was not enough to make the shop viable.

A suggestion for a community-run facility was put forward at last Thursday’s Ferryden Community Council by Marie Heron meeting amid discussion about a lack of facilities in the village for both residents and visitors.

Mrs Heron said there is now no outlet closer than Montrose where people can buy convenience items.

She said: “I still miss the shop and this started because I get up early in the morning and if I find I’ve run out of tea, sugar or bread there’s really nowhere to go.

“I’ve looked at the situation and have been asking people about it and someone suggested a community shop.

“The population of Ferryden, as far as I know, is 902 and I would like to do a fuller survey of the village. If even 50 per cent of people were interested enough, we could set up a community shop owned and run by the council.

“There’s funding available to get it up and running but we would need a start-up group.”

During the discussion Alistair Pullar had pointed out that some recent visitors to Ferryden had been disappointed by a lack of facilities in the village, particularly a tea shop or cafe, and Mrs Heron said the project might go some way to rectifying that.

She added: “We could maybe even have a coffee machine or something similar for visitors who are in Ferryden and are looking for a cup of tea.

“Ferryden has a lot to offer, and has a lot in the way of wildlife and walks to attract visitors. The camp site over the way is busy and it would be nice if we could tempt people over. The harbour’s also there and it might appeal to harbour staff if they want to nip out for a tea or a coffee during their breaks.”

Vice-chairman Sandy Nicol said the idea had been raised before, but difficulties had arisen in finding a suitable property.

Mrs Heron pointed out that if the suggestion attracted enough support, funding might also be available for purpose-built premises.

She said: “It’s possible, but we would still need a lot of people to do the groundwork.”

It was noted at May’s meeting that a lack of facilities could affect a grant application to upgrade the village’s navigation beacons. It favoured projects that would attract visitors and jobs to the area. It was suggested at the time that a heritage centre could be established in the vacant part of the shop.