December 13 2013 Latest news:
Thursday, October 24, 2013
An ambitious plan to save a Wymondham bookshop has moved a step closer and now organisers are appealing to the public for their feedback.
Robert Smith, owner of the Book Fountain in Wharton’s Court, is set to retire at the end of the year and a working group has been formed to take over the running of the shop and ensure it does not become another casualty of the high street.
The group has explored different types of business models and funding, and now the committee has launched a survey and is asking people for their opinions.
It is the idea of retired teacher, Ray Rumsby, from Little Melton.
“We want to make sure that the bookshop does not close.
“We want to become a community bookshop which is run by the community, for the community.
“It will have to make a profit but that will be used for the benefit of the community.
“It is going to be a professional enterprise,” he said.
And although the group has secured promises of funds, Mr Rumsby said the shop would still need support from local people.
“We want people to use the bookshop and contribute to their own community – but it is not a charitable act. They would be taking part in a world of reading which is really important.
“Reading helps us to make independent judgments about the world and it engages the mind.
“Reading makes a big difference to how people see the world and how we think and feel – it breeds ideas.”
Mr Rumsby thanked Mr Smith for his “invaluable” hard work and all the volunteers who had stepped forward to help save the shop.
The group hopes to run the bookshop as a community interest company, which means profits will be used to benefit the community.
“It will be set up using loans but we still need to take more advice,” Mr Rumsby added. “We are not alone –there are other community shops which have been set up in Norfolk. It is part of maintaining a way of life.”
To take part in the survey, visit www.surveymonkey.com/s/Z9PZWPK