Onward hands former Liverpool office to social supermarket

Copyright Richard Moran (Demo)

Onward Homes has handed its former office in Liverpool to a social supermarket which will offer heavily discounted products to hundreds of families.

The social enterprise Community Shop will open its new branch on Walton Road in north Liverpool this September and will provide local people access to high quality and low-cost food and household products.

The shop will create at least 10 local jobs, with vacancies available in retail, hospitality, and development roles.

In addition to providing Community Shop its new premises, Onward has part-funded the conversion works with grocery retailer Ocado and fellow social housing providers Riverside.

Bronwen Rapley, chief executive of Onward Homes, said: “We are delighted to build on our partnership with Community Shop and to support their work across the City region.

“Onward has been a part of the community in this part of North Liverpool for many years. Placing this building in the hands of Community Shop demonstrates our commitment to the area and supports our mission ‘to create a positive difference in the communities we serve’.”

Onward and Community Shop have a previous history of working together, delivering collaborative development sessions at Community Shop’s store in Halton, Cheshire since it opened in December 2019.

Membership of the new Community Shop is open to people who live locally and are in receipt of welfare support, including customers of Onward.

Members will have access to food and products donated by major retailers and manufacturers at a heavy discount, often up to 70% off the normal retail price.

The revenue raised from sales in the store will be invested in the Community Hub, where members can gain access to personal development support from home budgeting to business courses. The store will also house a Community Kitchen, offering hot meals to members and their families.

The store will look to work in partnership with Liverpool City Council, local charities and organisations to compliment the work already being delivered in the area.

Steph McGinty, retail, people and communities director of Community Shop’s parent organisation Company Shop, said: “We are thrilled to be bringing our social enterprise to the heart of Liverpool, where we will be working closely with the various local organisations, charities, and community members to help make a real difference to the lives of individuals and families across the region.”

“We have already worked with numerous local partners to ensure that we compliment their services and that we are offering the very best retail and personal development proposition to our members, as soon as we can officially open the doors to our Community store, hub and kitchen in September.”

Community Shop is part of the UK redistribution organisation Company Shop Group. It operates five social supermarket stores in London, South Yorkshire, North East Lincolnshire, and the North West.

Image: A depiction of one of Community Shop’s social supermarkets. Credit: Richard Moran

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