WORK is set to get underway on a new community shop and cafe for a village in the Cotswolds.

Construction work is beginning on the facility in Bledington in the spring 2019, with the plan to open it later this year.

The new shop and cafe is sited in the middle of the village near the popular Bledington primary school, and it will be within a five minute walk for most people in the village and convenient for those in Foscot, Foxholes and other nearby villages.

Most of the money for the shop and cafe was raised within the village, including through a highly successful community share offer scheme organised last year.

It has also been supported by charities including the Prince’s Countryside Fund, Awards for All funded by The Big Lottery, the Susanna Peake Charitable Trust, the Summerfield Trust, Charlotte Heber-Percy Trust and the Plunkett Foundation.

And a £39,000 grant has also come from the Cotswold LEADER programme delivered by the Cotswolds Conservation Board. LEADER is part of the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) and is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD).

Bledington lost a privately-owned shop 10 years ago, with campaigners calling for a new shop to replace it.

According to the Plunkett Foundation, there are 346 community shops operating in the UK, with a 94 per cent success rate.