As of 1st January, the Community Retailing Network (CRN), which has worked across Scotland since 2004 supporting community-owned shops, merged with the Plunkett Foundation, which has almost 100 years experience in supporting rural social enterprise. This is intended to give Scotland’s rural communities greater access to Plunkett’s support and will result in the establishment of Plunkett Scotland. The current CRN co-ordinator will remain and the merger will also see the creation of a new post to promote and support community-owned enterprises.
Peter Couchman, Chief Executive of Plunkett Foundation, said: “We are delighted to be merging with the Community Retailing Network to extend our services into Scotland. Founded in 1919 by the Irish co-operative pioneer, Sir Horace Plunkett, we have a long tradition of supporting and sharing knowledge between communities across the UK. The creation of Plunkett Scotland and the additional resources this will bring will create even more opportunities for rural communities across Scotland to take control of the issues important to them.”
Cllr Norman MacDonald, Chair of CRN and Uig Community Shop on Lewis, said “This is great news for Scottish communities who are at risk of physical or social isolation following the loss of or threat to their village shop, as well as communities wishing to explore other forms of community enterprise. By merging with Plunkett our combined support will reach more communities in need of support to explore solutions that are controlled by them.”
For more information see www.communityretailing.co.uk and www.plunkett.co.uk