Action with Communities in Rural Kent recognises the important role village shops and Post Offices play in maintaining vibrant communities in rural Kent, not only in terms of villagers being able to purchase supplies and access banking and postal services without having to travel outside the village, but also the shop and post office being important social hubs in a village – a place to share information and meet with friends and neighbours.
Kent Rural Retailers (KRR) is a service providing a wide range of services to help develop and sustain local businesses providing both economic and social benefit to rural communities.
KRR supports both commercial and community-run retail operations. The service benefits greatly from investment by Kent County Council, and this has been augmented as of late 2015 by securing of funds through the Big Lottery Fund supported Ageless Thanet programme to undertake work around enabling older age-friendly retail environments in Thanet.
KRR also runs an annual Rural Retailer of the year competition (see film above); this celebrates good practice and helps network people devoting their time to running so many vital businesses.