Slindon forge revamp creates unique job role

The building after it had been stripped of paint
The building after it had been stripped of paint

A RARE opportunity to run Slindon’s newest community asset has arisen.

With construction work to restore and extend the village’s forge well underway, the Slindon Forge Society – the committee of volunteers aiming to turn the unused building into a community shop, cafe and information point – are looking for someone to take the helm.

With the forge looking to open in September, applications for the paid manager’s post will close on June 8, with interviews to be held later that month.

Mike Imms said: “We are looking for someone perhaps with retail and catering experience to fill the role, but that doesn’t mean we would not consider an applicant without it. It is essential to us we find the right person to fill the role not just someone who ticks the right boxes.

“This is a rare opportunity for someone to become embedded into the nice village community of Slindon.”

Mr Imms said there would also be the opportunity to take on more staff later, which would be something the new manager would be instrumental in.

He said: “The project is being managed by an unpaid committee of volunteers and when it opens the forge will be run on our behalf by a paid manager, but the venture is a non-for-profit community enterprise. Community membership and a community share scheme are key elements of the project.”

After losing its shop, post office and one of its pubs all in the last five years the Slindon Forge Project hopes to create a new focal point for the village, including a community shop, information point and cafe.

It would offer services such as dry cleaning, prescription drop off and a Royal Mail post point, facilities which would be welcomed by villagers, as well as a cafe for both locals and visitors to enjoy.

“The location of the forge is another crucial element. It is in an attractive and accessible setting in its own right, but it is also next to the village hall, primary school and stops for the local bus and library van - all of this would make it a new village hub,” said Mr Imms.

The existing building needed extensive repair and refurbishment and a big extension. The main works will cost some £175,000 with a further £25,000 for extra equipment, all of which has been raised by the community.

A 49 year-lease has been agreed by the building’s freeholder, the National Trust, who fully support the idea.