December 11 2013 Latest news:
By Lucy Wright
Thursday, September 19, 2013
The race is on to help save a Wymondham bookshop which is due to close at Christmas.
The owner of The Book Fountain in Wharton’s Court, Robert Smith, is due to retire at the end of the year and people living in the area are hoping to form a community group to ensure its survival.
At a meeting in the Cross Keys on Tuesday night, 12 people expressed their interest in a project to turn the shop into a community venture.
The meeting was organised by Ray Rumsby, a retired teacher from Little Melton.
He said: “It would be disastrous to lose the bookshop.
“It’s too valuable to lose.”
People discussed the possibility of setting up a trust or a community interest company.
Mr Smith, who has run the shop for seven years, told the meeting: “I am out on Christmas Eve.
“You will need a working capital of about £30,000 and you will need support from the community.
“If every household in Wymondham bought one paperback a year from me, I could keep the shop going and employ someone.”
He said the shop’s turnover was between £90,000 and £100,000 a year.
Mr Rumsby said: “It’s a crisis of time. We simply didn’t know about this until a few weeks ago.
“The shop does make a profit so it’s not like we are taking on a failing business.
“One of the advantages of the community running the bookshop is that we can get more hands on deck and hopefully open for longer hours.”
The group will meet again to discuss its plans next Tuesday at Wymondham Baptist Church at 7pm.