Penicuik Storehouse plays vital part during Covid-19 lockdown
Penicuik Storehouse, the former Scotmid Co-op store on the High Street, is providing a vital service during the Covid-19 crisis.
The shop itself, that was bought by the community thanks to a grant from the Scottish Land Fund and a local share scheme, has closed its doors in order to keep staff and customers safe.
Instead it is taking orders online and over the phone while the indoor market area is still operating. And a new vegetables box scheme has met with great success, providing an easy way for customers to get fresh food.
Nigel Patch, site manager, Penicuik Storehouse, said: “We have a team of volunteers making up orders and co-ordinating deliveries and we have seen a great increase in the number of customers.
“I think people appreciate that the Storehouse is a community hub selling local and organic food and they are keen to support local efforts during the crisis.”
With an additional £5,000 from the Scottish Land Fund, Penicuik Storehouse has been able to buy and install another fresh food chiller and buy PPE equipment for staff and volunteers. That extra money is part of a package of £70,000 that has been allocated to a total of 12 shops, foodbanks and other Scottish Land Fund-backed projects across the country to allow them to respond to additional demand for their services during the Covid-19 outbreak.
The Cabinet Secretary for Land Reform Roseanna Cunningham said: “Through the Scottish Land Fund, the Scottish Government has supported a number of communities, particularly in rural areas, who have wanted to save their local shop.
“Some of these shops are now playing an important role in distributing food and other essentials to people in need who are not eligible for other support measures.
“This volunteer-led activity is especially valuable at this point in time. I’m delighted that the Scottish Land Fund has responded quickly to help communities help themselves and them step up their efforts at this difficult time.”
John Watt, Scottish Land Fund Committee Chair said: “This crisis has highlighted the need for strong communities and the response of local groups has been outstanding.
“Some of these shops would not exist if it wasn’t for the support of the Scottish Land Fund yet during this time they have become a lifeline for many people who would otherwise struggle to access the food and other services that they need.”