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Plenty in store as the 'Speedy Shop' is on way to second village

By Ashbourne News Telegraph  |  Posted: June 08, 2014

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BRASSINGTON is set to become the second village in the country to benefit from a revolutionary new automated shop.

Village Vending, which brought the first ever "Speedy Shop" to the village of Clifton in March, has announced a deal has been struck with the Miner's Arms in Brassington to host the second shop to roll off the production line.

The machine, which attracted global attention when it was first switched on at the Cock Inn in Clifton, offers a chance for communities that have lost their village shop to buy products through the day and night.

The company's owner, Peter Fox, said he thought Brassington was the ideal location for his next machine. He said: "I think Brassington is probably the perfect example of where this sort of facility should go.

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"Clifton is lucky because it has Ashbourne in close proximity but Brassington is quite a trek from its nearest shops and it's quite isolated.

"But it has a very active community with pubs, a school and a church so it's the perfect place for something like this to benefit from."

As soon as the News Telegraph broke the story of the arrival of Mr Fox's machine in Clifton it hit the headlines as far afield as Australia and New Zealand. He was swamped with inquiries from businesses.

And after more than two months there is still plenty of interest in the machine in Clifton, which gets used every day by villagers popping in to pick up provisions. Mr Fox, whose company is based on the Henmore Trading Estate in Mayfield Road, said: "I think the first one was something of a step into the unknown but the Clifton machine is getting a steady trade and it's being used as much now as it was in the first week, and it's still proving reliable.''

Mr Fox is putting the finishing touches to the machine bound for Brassington, which will be wrapped with an image of local stone to match buildings in the village.

He hopes to have it set up and running around the end of June.

Meanwhile, things are progressing well for Village Vending, with inquiries continuing to arrive from retail firms, manufacturing companies and other businesses.

Mr Fox, who still has two more machines to place in the local area once Brassington is up and running, said: "We're still very interested in hearing from other local villages who don't have a shop and once they're out we'll have a look at a redesign.

"We're talking to several different organisations and depending on how these discussions go, we could go in a number of different directions.

"We're at something of a crossroads at the moment.

"We're not desperate to do anything though, and we'd still be quite happy to go it alone.

"We know we can generate business ourselves now and it's still all a bit up in the air but the best thing we can do is just to make sure it goes in the right direction and we take the right opportunities.''

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