A NEW community initiative is being launched in Newport to ensure the much-loved Havards Shop is kept as a hardware shop for the town and its surrounding areas.

Havards Shop is not just a traditional hardware shop but also sells a considerable amount of essentials and gifts for locals and visitors alike.

The current owners, Bryce and Sonnie Barrett are keen for the community to have a chance to purchase and retain the shop to have it as an additional hub for the community. The shop has been on the market for many months and the option of a community run cooperative shop is one that is now being seriously considered by locals.

Newport town councillor, Adrian Varney, has contacted Cris Tomos of Planed for support with the initial development phase of seeking funds as community shares and loans from local people.

"The shop is an important building in the town and so many generations have supported and continue to rely on the shop for hardware and gift items. we have to look at a local solution to retaining the Havards shop," said Cllr Varney.

Mr and Mrs Barrett added:

"A community purchase would ensure the character of the shop is retained and future generations can have a shop such as this within the community. We would ensure that all the current business supplier contacts and electronic till and stock control systems that we have developed would be handed over and we would wish to fully support the new community team on how to manage the business successfully."

Anyone interested in investing in the community project can pick up a pledge form in the shop or on the new community shop Facebook Page that will be launched shortly.

An application form is also available at the shop for anyone interested in joining the new community committee.

"Local shops are now being taken on by many communities around the country and there is comprehensive support for community groups," said Cris Tomos.

"For investors there will also be a opportunities for annual dividends/interest dependant trading profits and an investors tax relief of up to 30% return for UK taxpayers under the HMRC scheme known as social investment tax relief."