Bright community shop is all set for grand opening

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A NEW community shop selling local produce on Southsea seafront is set to open.

Volunteers have been busy giving the former pay booth from Southsea Castle a lick of paint ahead of its grand opening on Saturday.

It’s called the Southsea Greenhouse, and is being run as a co-operative and run by volunteers seven days a week, all year round.

Founder Sue Stokes said: ‘It’s a passion I’ve had for a while. It’s going to bring all sorts of people together.

‘The booth was just lying around behind the seafront management office, so the manager David Evans suggested we could have it.’

The building will stock local produce including flowers, plants and vegetables and will also sell recycled goods and work by local artists.

Mrs Stokes said: ‘Our idea in the long term is to go to the council and get a building where we can serve coffee and, say, people can have a flower arrangement made for them while they wait. Or if they like the chair they’re sitting on they can actually buy that.

‘We’re linking with the Cycle Forum and Solent Bike Club and their idea is to repair bikes while you have a coffee.’

The project will support the Beneficial Foundation and the Shaw Trust.

An Easter Bonnet parade will start from there on Monday at 3pm.