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Residents begin fight to keep Jura’s only shop open

Jura residents face losing the only shop on the island. Picture: Allan Milligan

Jura residents face losing the only shop on the island. Picture: Allan Milligan

RESIDENTS of Jura are mounting a bid to save the island’s only shop from closure.

It is hoped that the 200 residents will successfully negotiate a community buy-out deal for the shop, which has been open since 1990.

Were the shop to close, some residents would face a round trip of at least five hours to the nearest alternative in Bowmore, Islay.

The owners of Jura Stores, Steve and Beth Martin, have put the shop up for sales amid worsening economic conditions.

The community-led Jura Development Trust group, who have successfully exercised legislation to will allow islanders to bid for assets of community value - the Community Right to Buy scheme - have been approached by residents to help secure the store’s future.

Peter Wotherspoon, the Trust’s secretary, said: “It is absolutely vital we secure the shop. Imagine what it would be like to lose our only shop.

“I have done [the trip to Bowmore] by public transport and it takes five fhours there and back. That’s from Craighouse, but more tha half of Jura’s population live further north.”

Residents had already begun discussions with a range of funding bodies, including the National Lottery and Highlands and Islands Enterprise.

Once a price is set by an independent valuer, residents will be balloted in order to guage interest in the property.

 

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