Currently the Forge is open 8.30am to 5.30pm on Tuesdays to Saturday and 9am to 5pm on Sundays (on Mondays we open at 10am after staff training) – learn more about the Forge here….
Welcome to the website for The Forge – the community project to create a new village shop and café here in Slindon, near Arundel, West Sussex. just over a year ago.
Its all going very well. We are still refining the shop offering – do tell us what you think – and the cafe offering is developing nicely. See the menu elsewhere on this website, and look out for daily home-made specials.
- We put together a dedicated team of villagers who ran the project.
- The results from a detailed community consultation exercise show widespread support for the scheme.
- We enlisted the support of a wide range of organisations including the District and County Councils, the South Downs National Park Authority, and all manner of other key groups.
- We secured the lease from the freeholder, the National Trust.
- We undertook building surveys and had architect’s plans drawn up.
- We applied for, and were granted Planning Permission for the scheme.
- We carefully studied the economics of community shops and taken advice from a wide range of business advisers. That formed the basis of a detailed business plan that convinced us the scheme is viable.
- We set up an Community Benefit Society – the legal entity that is running the project – and over 150 people have joined as Members of that Society, as well as supporting the project in a number of different ways.
- We undertook a major fund-raising programme – over £200k.
- We found a builder – Nutbourne Construction and work is now complete.
- We found and appointing a professional manager who will run it on behalf of the community. And an assistant. As such we have created 1 1/2 new jobs – both have gone to people who live within the parish.
Like many villages we have lost vital services in recent years – Post Office, shop and one of our pubs. The loss is not just practical – it means a loss of social contacts as well. The Forge project provides a wonderful opportunity to reverse this and provide vital services to ensure our village remains the vibrant community we all enjoy. Not only that, it also give an important new lease of life and public access to an historically important village building.
We’re in the early stages of the enterprise and its all coming together. Over the coming months we trust it will just get better and better – we welcome positive feedback so come and visit and tell us what you think.
Come back to this website and look at the news updates and find out more about this exciting project, or follow us on Twitter and Face Book.