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Article in the Hampshire Chronicle, May 2015

THE final licks of paint are being added to a Meon Valley village shop undergoing a £30,000 revamp.

Meonstoke Post Office and Village Stores is set to relaunch on Saturday with a new bakery, more local produce disabled access, cafe seating and more.

Major building works were funded by nearly £30,000 from Hampshire County Council‘s Village Shops Grant and the Post Office Community Fund.

Owner Nell Gibson, a former nurse who took over the Warnford Road business last year, said village shops are “essential” to rural communities and must survive current struggles.

“Being at the heart of the community is very important,” she said. “Going the extra mile for customers is important for them.

“We’re not able to compete with the likes of Tesco and so it’s important to provide something else that people want.

“All the elderly people who come in, it’s the only sociable thing they get to have. They stand around chatting for ages and that’s why we’re putting some tables and chairs out the front, to give it a cafe feel.”

Two resident wheelchair users will cut the ribbon at 10am next Saturday, followed by free samples from local food suppliers.

http://www.hampshirechronicle.co.uk/news

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