THIS is set to be a crucial week in the battle to return a village shop and post office to Lower Broadheath.

Last year the Worcester News reported on the closure of Broadheath Stores following owner Colin Barrett's retirement, which left the village without a convenience shop.

Following the closure, Mark Glossop, who campaigned heavily to save the old post office and Ian Davies, landlord of The Bell Inn in Martley Road, set about trying to open a new shop, and getting the Post Office involved.

The proposed new shop - which has now been registered as a community benefit society - would be volunteer run. The plan is for it to be based on The Bell Inn premises in a portable building, with foundations already laid.

Opening and maintaining the shop is likely to cost between £65,000 and £70,000 and the committee is attempting to raise the majority of the money through fundraising and share pledges, as well as grants. Shares will cost £10, and the plan is for these to go on sale for a six week period, possibly in May.

Mr Glossop said villagers had already pledged £25,000 and the hope is this could reach £30,000 during a share selling period, adding a six person committee behind the campaign had applied to a new Business Booster scheme.

"There is a meeting this week, which if they give us a yes, means they will double the amount raised through the selling of shares," Mr Glossop said.

"It is on a knife-edge. It is crucial we get that because with it we are at £50,000, which is well on our way to the total."

Mr Glossop said since the campaign began, villagers had showed how important they felt it was for one to be back in the village.

"There are people here without cars, elderly people who don't want to head into the city for a shop," Mr Glossop added.

"A shop is like a community centre - a place people can chat, have a coffee while they buy their newspaper and items.

"The aim is to open the shop in September."