THE opening of a new community store in a village has taken a key step forward.

After a six-month construction, the Candover Valley Community Store, in Alresford Road, has been handed over to project committee chairman Jane Laws.

On Friday last week, owner of main contractor CPFM Construction Christian McCabe handed the keys to Jane outside the building.

The site is set to open at 10am on Monday, 10 June, once the final fit-out and stocking is completed, with a Post Office function earmarked to open the next day at 2pm.

Jane said: “This is such a milestone for us. It has been a long journey to reach this point and we are all so thrilled to see this lovely building coming alive.

“Inside the store is a bright, airy space that will provide an array of useful and tempting goods available seven days a week, as well as a cheerful welcome for locals and passers-by.

“We are immensely grateful to everyone whose generosity and hard work has ensured this vital local amenity is not lost.”

The Candover Valley Store will offer a range of foods with a focus on local produce where possible.

There will also be a small coffee area in the store to be open from 8am to 6pm during the week, with shorter hours on weekends.

Funds of £220,000 to build, fit out and stock the store were raised through a share scheme, donations from local benefactors and grants from several institutions, including Hampshire County Council, and Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council.

Comments from the community are being sought about the formal moving of the Post Office to the new store.

The Post Office consultation lasts until May 30 and submissions can be made at

with the branch code of 075904. Comments can also be made via e-mail at or call 03452 66 01 15.