About Us
indon Village Store – Our story so far


Early Days

On May 29th 2017 the previous owners, without warning, shut the Findon Village Store and Post Office, sacked the staff by telephone, and announced that they were putting the Grade 2 building up for sale at Auction on the 28th June.

Any village shop is a lifeline to many villagers, and within 3 days of the closure a public meeting was called by the Peter Goldsworthy, then Chairman of Findon Parish Council, to discuss a response to what was a real calamity for the village. The Village Hall was packed to overflowing, and it was quickly decided to attempt a fundraising effort to buy the shop and premises back as a village asset.

On June 12th another public meeting was held to outline the manner and detail of fundraising. We knew that a minimum of £400,000 was needed before the Auction on June 30th, so it was a question of ‘Buy it or Lose it’.

Peter Goldsworthy was appointed [unopposed] Chairman of this new venture. Then proceeded with necessary details to ensure that we could re-open our village shop. This included contacting the Post Office to ensure that a new licence to operate the Post Office counter would be forthcoming, and that crucial issue was readily agreed.

Shares were offered to all residents at £1000/share, share commitment forms were rapidly printed and circulated throughout the village. The Plunkett Foundation had been contacted, who specialise in advising communities who wish to purchase village assets like shops and pubs, and gave valuable advice on registering a new company which is named Findon Village Collective Ltd. The new company had to be registered with the Financial Conduct Authority before the expected completion purchase date of 30th July, and that was achieved on 20th July.

Between June 12th and the auction on June 30th (18 days!) the villagers of Findon raised £440,000, and the premises were bought at auction for £350,000, leaving enough funds to re-equip the shop which had been totally stripped of all shelving and equipment by the previous owners. A further £40,000 was contributed before the completion date of July 30th. All the funds raised were lodged with Findon Parish Council, as until the new company opened a bank account, there was nowhere to keep this very sizeable fund.

Findon Village Collective Ltd was first registered as a Community Benefit Society in July 2017.

At this date we had 367 member/shareholders, who were all proud to have helped ‘save the shop’!

A Management Committee was recruited during early July with the necessary skills to appoint staff, raise a volunteer army, and put the new company on an organised and legal footing to start the process of refurbishing and re-equipping the shop.

The shop staff, management committee and volunteers worked tirelessly to completely refurbish and re-equip the shop, and we had an initial opening on 28th October, and had a proper celebration party once the shop was fully stocked and operating on Sunday December 3rd 2017

This story is one of a village community coming together, extraordinarily quickly, to save a valuable village asset, which in future will be operated for the benefit of the village.



The Next Few Years

After successfully steering our Village Shop through the first couple years and ensuring it was running smoothly and as a viable concern for the years ahead, Peter Goldsworthy stood down as Chairman on 16th April 2019, handing over to Steve Smith.

Our Village Shop was now operating at a profit, thanks to the ‘army’ of volunteers, the management committee, and the hard work of employed staff.

As always intended, this meant that we were now able to make donations back into the community, should the shop make any surplus, over and above its statutory needs, then that surplus will be used for the benefit of organisations within the village that need financial assistance and support in the years to come.

Over the last few years, the Village Shop has made various donations, included amongst the recipients have been – Findon Village Pre-school, Findon Swimming Pool, Findon Village Christmas Lights, Christmas Hampers for those in need, Findon Village School. We are currently working with the Village Hall Committee to assist with the completion of outstanding work.

Due to age of our building, we have continued to invest some of the profits in the maintenance of the property, which includes the rental flat situated above the shop.

Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service

The crowning achievement of Steve Smith’s tenure as Chairman of Management Committee was the award of the “Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service” to Findon Village Collective Ltd, as an organisation, and announced on the date Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee.

The presentation of this Award was made in October 2022, by the Lord Lieutenant for West Sussex, Lady Emma Barnard, supported by 3 deputies [one of who was Hugh Bonneville, the noted actor].

In May 2023, Steve Smith was invited to attend the first garden party at Buckingham Palace, after the coronation of King Charles III, and was accompanied by Becky Fagan [one of the original, and current {at date of writing} Committee members], in recognition of our joint award.

Moving on

On 20th May 2022, Patrick Colville took over as Chairman of the Management Committee, when Steve Smith stood down.

Under the guidance of Patrick, it is planned that our Village Shop, and Findon Village Collective Ltd, will continue to provide a service to Findon Village, and continue to provide contributions to local worthy causes.

FVC Ltd is currently waiting to hear if it has been recognised as an ‘Asset of the Community’ by Arun District Council.

Post-box Toppers

Some of the regular visitors to our Village Shop may have spotted the fantastic craft ‘toppers’ that have appeared on the Post-box outside the front. One of these was recently featured on BBC South Today, as part of the Coronation build-up.

Photographs of some of these amazing toppers are included below.





May 23 

Registered Name & Address:

Findon Village Collective Ltd
Findon Village Store
Horsham Road
BN14 0TF

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