THE Benarty Community Shop opened its doors on Sunday for the first time.

It was the culmination of five months work ensuring the shop was fit for purpose and the hours and hours of work put in by members of the Benarty Forum, along with numerous tradesmen and workers, coupled with the wonderful work carried out by the women volunteers has given the people of the four villages a shop to be proud of.

It has taken a little longer than expected but it is now officially open. To mark the opening two local guests were invited along to carry out the official opening. Benarty Citizen of the year Wattie Moodie and local Scottish football Internationalist who also plays for Hibernian Ladies, Lucy Graham.

The Benarty Community Forum were delighted that both agreed to go along for the big opening.

One of the people involved in the creation of the shop, Michael O'Hare said: "It has taken quite a few months of hard work to get the shop up to the standard that we wanted but it is finally ready for the public.

"Sunday was a great day for the community and there was a steady turnout of people who came along for the first day of business. The local community has been amazing with all the donations that have been handed in and when you all visit you will see for yourselves.

"Benarty Forum would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has given their time to make this project happen. There has to be a few special mention that go to John Gallagher (Brooklyn Kitchens), Drew Mackie (Morrisons Construction), Stephen McMaihin (First Class Decorators), Peter McGuire (Peter McGuire & Sons Plasterer & Roughcasters), & Andrew Haddow for his donation and his time.

"Also to Gordon Mackie for his art work on the outside of the building. Sharon, Lorna, Tom & and our own painter & Decorator Jim Christie for all their hours of hard work. "This couldn't happen if we didn't have premises and a big thanks to Zahid Mukhtar (NISA) for working along with us to make this happen."

He added: "This Community Shop idea came about in 2013/14 when the Forum was writing up the five year action plan for Benarty area and the then CEW worker for Benarty, Mike Payne, said it would be great if we had our own Community Shop. So a big thanks also to Mike".

The shop's opening hours are Monday and Tuesday 9am to 4pm, closed on Wednesday, Thursday Friday 9am - 4pm and Saturday 9am-12:00. These hours are subject to change as the weeks and months come along.

Once Benarty Community Forum thank everyone for their input and donations and welcome everyone to go along and 'enjoy your Community Shop'.