Our Blog



Each member will receive their own membership card. This will entitle them from time to time to
varying member offers in the shop and café once open. As a community benefit society, all our members are equal, with one vote per member at the annual general meeting and any extraordinary meetings that are held, irrespective of the type or number of shares held. Membership imparts shared ownership and a say in the running of the Society, including the possibility of both voting for, and being elected to, the management committee. Your membership also shows your support for a community owned shop and café, and will very much help our fundraising and with future grant applications as community support is a major influencing factor for many grant decisions. Please note, £10 memberships taken up during this period will run until
one year after the shop is open to give you chance to experience the benefits. 

You can apply for £10 membership of The Walled Garden Community Shop and Cafe by contacting

Pocket Parks

Louise Amond and the team were successful in bidding for money from the Pocket Parks Programme. This government scheme offered a £3.75 million fund to create new parks and refurbish existing parks in the UK. Their aim was to help schemes like ours create beautiful places for local communities to use and enjoy! We will receive £15,000 which will make a massive difference to the restoration of our Victorian Walled Garden.

Updates From The AGM

Thank you for attending!

Thirty of our members attended our AGM. We really appreciated your time, as well as your useful comments and questions. The public meeting was also well attended with a full room.

Please see the full minutes and the Chair's report on our
downloads page. Some headlines:-

  • The management committee stood down, and were reelected by the members
  • Phillip Hunt joined the committee- welcome, and thank you.
  • The chair, Adrian Nagle, gave his report to the members giving a brief history of where we started, the progress made to date and the plans for the future.
  • All members were given a copy of the annual accounts for 2018, and Debbie Tomkins gave a report of the important points contained within the accounts. These were adopted.
  • Kelly Rix, the volunteer coordinator, Bronwen Barns the retail lead, and Vic Tomkins the membership secretary were introduced. Welcome to the family.
  • The next steps were outlined - freehold for the land to be transferred to the Parish Council, the walls of the garden to be made safe (Parish Council(, and then the build. The build is a modular construction, and will take around ten weeks.
  • Members asked questions about the Post Office (which is confirmed), shop products, the consideration of people with disabilities and dietary needs and the café capacity.

We aim for the shop, café and garden to be open by Christmas 2019

Please contact us with any queries, or to volunteer your time and expertise in any capacity. We welcome your help.

Christmas Update

Thank you for joining us on our journey to open this community business. Here are the updates!
The Project

The share issue is now closed, and the total raised was £23,450. 
The management committee took the decision to downscale the project to reflect both the investment received from the share issue and the current grant funding position. We also had to decide whether or not to apply for a grant from the Rural Development Leader Programme. This is European money aimed at supporting Rural development and because of Brexit, the programme came to an end last week. As our downscaling plans fitted within the criteria for the amount we could apply for, we decided to do so and our full application for £100,000 was made last week. The decision will be made mid-February, if we get through the appraisal stage now taking place.
The New Budget
The new budget is based on a reduced building size of approx. 100m
2 split 2/3 shop and 1/3 café. We asked 3 local builders to tender and we have chosen Modular Works Ltd of Burlingham. They provide a Structural Insulated Panel System (SIPS), built off site and erected very quickly. Plans and architectural drawings will be developed over the next few months.
The budget is now:
£183,450 total project value stocked and open for business.
Provided by:
£23,450 shares purchased
£10,000 Co-op foundation grant
£50,000 Co-op foundation interest free 5-year loan
£100,000 Leader grant application
Share Certificates
These are likely to be issued at the end of January, after we get the results of a structural survey by the Parish council on the walls of the garden.
Grant Funding
The Budget depends on winning the Leader grant. We do have other funding possibilities and it is our intention to replace the £50,000 Co-op loan with grant funding between now and February. These funding possibilities include Hertfordshire Partnership Foundation Trust and the Geoffrey Watling Trust (application for £25,000 already made; decision December). Once the position of the freehold is known we can also continue our application with ‘Big Lottery reaching communities’ for the cost of renewable energy sources and possibly refurbishing the existing outbuildings. In addition, we are exploring funding possibilities with the Tudor Trust and in January, we will make a presentation to various local charitable trusts.
We have been through the first hurdle with Heritage Lottery for the costs of recreating the garden and should be able to take the next steps in February.
Our First AGM
We intend to convene our first AGM towards the end of February 2019 as by then we will know the Parish Council’s position with the Walled Garden, as well as the result of our Leader application. Due notice will be given to members in the New Year. We will present our first year’s accounts and a report on the first year’s activities. The whole Management Committee will stand down at this first AGM. and can nominate themselves for re-election by the Societies membership. Any Member of the society can nominate themselves for election to the 12 positions on the Management Committee and we encourage you to do so.
A section of the AGM could be opened to the whole community with the aim of increasing membership and ensuring that the community is both included and is behind the project. If we are in a position to proceed with the build it will be important to know that the volunteer pledges to help in the shop/café/garden are in place and that we are confident that we have the means to deliver and open for business.
We did finally receive advance assurance from HMRC that our share offer complies for SEIS tax relief and that tax payers would be able to apply for the 50% tax relief. This is a little way off as we have to be trading for 4 months before this can happen.
Planning Permission
Just one minor detail outstanding which should be resolved with planning permission received very shortly. This is of course based on the original plan but will only require an amended planning application to be put in place.
A film in the making!!-
Students from the Norwich University of Arts have visited the site and are keen to make a short film about the restoration of the garden. Early days on this and has yet to be scoped, but quite exciting!

Help Needed in all teams
Help make this project happen by getting involved. We need your expertise ! Please contact
enquiries@thewalledgardenshop.co,uk to join in with any of our teams.

News Release

Little Plumstead Community Shop & Café wins grant and prepares for community share issue

Power to Change, the independent Trust supporting community business in England, has awarded a £15,000 ‘Bright Ideas’ grant to Little Plumstead Community Shop. This will fund the preparation of a planning application and tender documents to construct the new shop and café.

A site has already been identified, within the former walled garden on the Little Plumstead Hospital site. The project has already won the support of the Parish and Broadland Councils, The Hertfordshire Partnership Foundation Trust and the Post Office, who have agreed to fund a ‘local Post Office’ within the new shop.

‘We’ve been working on this for more than a year, ‘explained project Chairman Adrian Nagle, ‘and now everything is coming together ready for our community share issue which launches on Norfolk Day, 27th July.’

Villagers have set up a community benefit society to operate the shop and café, and restore the walled garden. As well as help from Power to Change the group have also had the support of the Plunkett Foundation who support a network of more than 300 community owned shops.

With more than 300 new homes being built on the former hospital site and the no other shop nearby, the team are confident the venture will be profitable. If all goes according to plan, the shop could open for businesses in time for Norfolk Day 2019.

I have a dream...

In 1963 Martin Luther King spoke those words to an audience of 250,000 civil rights supporters in Washington. He spoke of an end to racism and equality of opportunity for all. It marked a turning point in American politics.

On a far more modest scale, the dream of our community owned shop and café was the result of a conversation between social entrepreneur Robert Ashton and Dan Dalton, a Psychiatrist at the Broadland Clinic. Service users were travelling to Norwich to undertake work experience, which with poor public transport, was far from easy.

Robert saw new homes being built nearby and suggested that a community owned shop could be both very convenient for those living at Little Plumstead and provide local work experience, avoiding a commute into Norwich.

The project has inevitably prompted some difficult conversations. The shop will be next door to a school and safeguarding concerns needed to be addressed. Those conversations have led to greater understanding between the Clinic and community. This will ensure that the shop, café and walled gardens can safely be enjoyed by everyone.

Next year could see a community shop and café open for business within the walled garden. It could also see a community that is tolerant and inclusive and an example to others.


Time to consolidate!

This week we have been building our brand, and have launched our new website; albeit sill in development!

We have also branded our social media presence to align with our website.

New Twitter account: https://twitter.com/wallgardenshop

New Instagram account: https://www.instagram.com/thewalledgardenshop/

New Pinterest account: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/thewalledgardenshop/

At The Walled Garden Community Shop & Café, we are committed to maintaining the trust and confidence of the shareholders, members, visitors to our website and social media pages. In particular, we want you to know that we are not in the business of selling, renting or trading email lists with other companies and businesses for marketing purposes. In our Privacy Policy, we’ve provided lots of detailed information on when and why we collect your personal information, how we use it, the limited conditions under which we may disclose it to others and how we keep it secure. View our policy here