North Essex village hub gets facelift after helping out local retailer following ram raid

Chantelle Buckling, YMCA Youth Club co-ordinator, Avril Biggins, who runs a water colour art group a

Chantelle Buckling, YMCA Youth Club co-ordinator, Avril Biggins, who runs a water colour art group at the Barn, East of England Co-op colleagues Laura Arnold and Maxine Woolf and Colin Biggins, Secretary of the Barn Management Committee Picture: EAST OF ENGLAND CO-OP - Credit: Archant

The East of England Co-op, which set up a temporary store at a community facility following a ram raid, has thanked residents by giving the building a makeover.

The retail chain, which set up at the Duchy Barn in Dedham after its high street store suffered extensive damage, moved back at the end of October after a 10 month wait while the heavily damaged building was repaired.

It has now completed renovations to the barn, including laying new floor coverings, creating a new ‘Duchy Barn’ entrance sign and external works also supported by the parish council.

Joint chief executive Roger Grosvenor said: “The support we have had throughout the past year from the Dedham community has been completely overwhelming. We are very grateful to Dedham Church, the parish council, particularly the chair, Sheila Beeton, who was instrumental in bringing everyone together and the Duchy Barn Management Committee for allowing us to use the Duchy Barn.”

He thanked all the clubs and groups that relocated their activities while the retailer was in residence.

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To thank the clubs who use the barn for their support and cooperation, the East of England Co-op has also donated 50 new mugs and a new pin-board for their use.

Colin Biggins, secretary at the Duchy Barn Management Committee, said: “The barn is used for coffee mornings, youth club, art group and for bridge. It’s a lovely community resource. Whilst we have had an alternative, it’s not been quite as welcoming and as warm. It’s lovely to have the barn refurbished by the East of England Co-op and we are pleased to get it back looking so fantastic.”

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