AN AWARD-WINNING Borders community shop which has proved a hit with villagers is set to extend its lifespan by another decade.

Cockburnspath Community Shop opened its doors in June 2021 and locals have since supported the venture enthusiastically.

It was originally meant to be a temporary outlet but it has proved so popular that a planning application has now been submitted to Scottish Borders Council to retain it on a more permanent basis.

Figures would seem to indicate that the community is positive about the shop’s future sustainability including the cost of paid staff – currently a manager, an assistant and two local teenagers, all on a part time basis.

Elspeth Paget, of Cockburnspath Community Enterprise, who submitted the application, said: “Customers have become used to the new location of the shop in the village and its proximity to the village hall, primary school, play area and football pitch works well.

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“A Community Action Plan was published by the Community Council shortly after the shop opened, having been delayed by the COVID pandemic.

“Despite this delay, extensive consultation was carried out which, as well as indicating a strong wish to have a shop again in the village, has subsequently seen a marked increase in activities in and around the village.

“It has also sparked ideas about the future of the area around the shop and hall as a community hub and discussions are under-way to explore this further.

“A number of groups are involved in the process, and it will take some time to reach a conclusion as to the best way forward acceptable to all.

“Until a plan for this has been fully developed, retention of the shop in its current position would be beneficial.”

The success of the shop was recognised with a recent Annual EBDA (Eastern Borders Development Association) Award for 2022, which rewards excellence in community life.