Jura Community Shop


Project update

Have a look at the shop website or facebook page (below) for more information, or if you would like to place an order, please call Chris and the team at the shop on 01496 820 231 or email juracommunitystore@gmail.com

Jura’s only shop opened for business under community ownership on Monday 25th March 2013.  Thank you to everyone who has contributed to this project – this really has been a team effort and it wouldn’t have been possible with out all the help and support from the community.

The Background

Jura Community Shop is the only general stores on the island of Jura. In 2012 the privately owned shop went up for sale. Please read on to see how the community saved their shop!

The research

Comments and ideas from the community of Jura were collected through community consultations, open days, public meetings and a community ballot. The common theme through all of the discussions is that Jura needs a shop.
Throughout the UK community shops, in various forms, are thriving. There are currently 301 open in the UK with no closures in 2012. Only only 13 community owned shops ever closed, indicating a 95% survival rate. This compares extremely positively with estimations for UK small businesses nationally, which are estimated to have a 5 year survival rate of 46.8% (A Better Form of Business 2012 – Plunkett Foundation).

The proposal

Isle of Jura Development Trust proposed to buy Jura Stores on behalf of the community. The intention was for the building to be refurbished to increase sales space, make it more accessible, make it energy efficient and able to last into the future. The project also outlined how the shop would be run – as a sustainable business for the benefit of the community and controlled by the community. This page provides some further detail on how the project came to fruition.

The purchase

On 9 January 2013 Scottish Ministers approved the Community Right to Buy (Part 2 of the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003) application submitted by Jura Development Trust. If you would like to know more about Community Right to Buy, please visit the Scottish Government website http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/farmingrural/Rural/rural-land/right-to-buy/Community
The Community Right to Buy process required that missives and transferring funds for the purchase of Jura Stores be completed no later than 26th March 2013. An offer of purchase was made by JDT on 22nd February 2012.  The offer was accepted and the shop will transfer on Friday 22nd March 2013.  With the support of the community and of course the funders (The Big Lottery Fund and HIE), the Jura Development Trust were able to complete all the necessary work and complete the sale before the Right to Buy Deadline.  Volunteers from the community arrived that very weekend to clean and organise the shop, and it was open for business as usual on Monday 25th March with a volunteer manager.


At part of the Community Right to Buy process, a community ballot was held on the island to establish if residents supported the purchase of Jura Stores by the Isle of Jura Development Trust with a view to running a community shop from the premises. All people who are eligible to vote at local government elections on the Isle of Jura were included in the ballot. The data was taken from the Full Register of Electors as issued at 3rd September 2012 for area AA20 (Jura) provided by Dunbartonshire and Argyll & Bute valuation Joint Board. The ballot was managed by Islay and Jura Council of Voluntary Services.

  • 173 votes sent out
  • 7 returned unopened (no forwarding address etc)
  • 139 ballots received
  • 107 yes
  • 31 no
  • 1 spoiled

76.9% yes

The funding

Isle of Jura Development Trust received funding from HIE and the Big Lottery Fund to develop the plans for this project. This funding was used to pay for a dedicated development worker, surveys of Jura Stores and for CP Architects of Oban to prepare designs for the shop.
If you would like to see any of the plans by CP Architects, contacts us (see contact details at the end of this page).
On 27th February 2013 Isle of Jura Development Trust was awarded ?653,225 from the Big Lottery Fund to support the Community Shop project over four years. The money which BIG have awarded is split into capital funds (for one off purchases) and revenue funds (for ongoing or recurring costs). £95,000 of the capital grant was used to purchase Jura Stores. The rest has been used to buy a van, repair and refurbish the building and buy any other pieces of equipment needed to run a shop from the building. The revenue funds are being used over the four years to help support and build the business. It is being used to help pay the manager’s salary, but also for marketing, training, one off start up costs and some day to day running costs while the business becomes established. The revenue funding is gradually being decreased over the four years so that the business can grow and move towards being independent and sustainable.  Please click on this link to see the statement from the Big Lottery Fund: http://bit.ly/XFK02B
The Isle of Jura Development Trust was also awarded a further £40,000 from HIE towards the costs of the acquisition.

The refurbishment

Once the funding from The Big Lottery Fund and HIE was awarded, preparation for the refurbishment began.  The original plans from CP Architects were refined with community input and, after a full tendering process, the work was awarded to McEachern Bros of Islay.  The work started in November 2013 and the shop took up temporary residence in the Antlers Bistro across the road.  The community rallied together to get all the stock across the road and transform the Antlers from a cosy cafe to a shop. Once work began it became clear that the building was in a far worse state than anyone knew.  Sadly not as much of the original building could be saved as we had hoped, but with some work from  the architects and contractors the plans were altered to provide a good alternative which would keep us on budget and on time whilst still maintaining the look and feel of the original structure.  After 6 months of furious work from everyone involved, the refurbishment was finished Easter 2014. Once again the community arrived en masse to clean the new shop and  re-stock it ready for business.

The business

The business of the shop is run by Jura Stores Community Interest Company (“JSCIC”). If you would like to find out more about Community Interest Companies below are some useful links:
JSCIC is made up of 5 directors, a company secretary, members (full time residents of Jura) and associate members. Anyone aged 16 or over is able to become a member or associate member of JSCIC for a fee of ?1 per year. JSCIC is independent from Isle of Jura Development Trust. If you would like to contact JSCIC, please email the Company Secretary Katy at co.sec.jscic@gmail.com or Claire Fletcher (Chairwoman) at ardlussaestate@gmail.com.
The other board members are Abby Beastall, Andy McCallum, Fiona Walton and Dick Mayes.  JSCIC currently employs 5 members of staff, including a full time manager to operate the shop on a day to day basis.  Volunteer van drivers from the community also help to support the business.  

The community

Community ownership and steering is at the heart of this project. The community of Jura will be consulted and involved throughout the project in a number of ways:

  • Community events and focus groups
  • Public meetings
  • Open days
  • Community surveys
  • Informal discussions with directors of Isle of Jura Development Trust
  • Membership and directorship of Isle of Jura Development Trust
  • Informal discussions with directors of JSCIC
  • Membership and directorship of JSCIC

If you would like to be more involved in the project, or have an idea about how to engage the community, please let us know.

The support

As well as the support from the Scottish Government, Isle of Jura Development trust have seen an overwhelming amount of support for the project both from members of the public and from organisations which have an interest in social enterprise.
Below are just some of the organisations who’s help and advice has been invaluable:
Highland & Islands Enterprise http://www.hie.co.uk/community-support/community-assets/default.html
Acquiring Business 4 Good http://www.acquiringbusiness4good.com/
Plunkett Foundation (helping rural communities through community ownership) http://www.plunkett.co.uk/
Just Enterprise http://www.justenterprise.org/
Community Retailing Network (meeting local needs through community ownership) http://www.communityretailing.co.uk/
Islay and Jura Council of Voluntary Services http://www.islay-initiative.org.uk/

More information

To find out more about the project to buy the shop just come and see us at the service point, or give us a call on 01496 820 161. Or you can email Sarah at scomptonbishop@gmail.com. We are always happy to answer any questions and to take on board your comments and opinions.
Find the project Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/JuraCommunityStores