THE not-for-profit Crediton Community Book-shop has demonstrated how it is enabling local people to keep the high street alive.

Maff Potts, chief executive of the Big Lottery Fund’s Power to Change initiative, visited the High Street shop on Monday.

He is beginning to set up the new £150m trust for the Big Lottery, which aims to help people change the places they live in for the better through community enterprise.

Mr Potts said: “The people who know best what a community needs are the people who live in it. We want community enterprise to be a grassroots solution to the challenges communities are facing.”

The Community Book-shop, open since last September, raised more than £30,000 in share capital, mainly from local people, and made a successful application to the Big Lottery’s Awards for All programme for £5,000.

Bookshop committee chairman Ken McKechnie said: “We now have nearly 287 shareholders, and shares are still for sale. We’re delighted with the support we have received locally – including from other traders.

“Tesco now has signs on its bookshelves to encourage shoppers to come to us for books it does not stock.

“What really matters to us is that we succeed as a commercial enterprise and also enable our volunteers to create lots of new book-related initiatives and activities.”