A COMMUNITY-run enterprise in South Lakeland has been named as the North West regional winner of the Countryside Alliance Best Village Shop competition.

An army of volunteers has worked hard to help Storth Village Shop and Post Office grow after raising the money to buy the business six years ago.

Forty-four people run the not-for-profit business, offering traditional services as well as food sourced from across South Lakeland.

Chairman Robert Crompton said the store provided a lot more than just groceries – with links to both the local school and hospital as well as being a place for villagers to meet.

"We were all excited when we found out we had won" said Mr Crompton. "The award recognises the work of the dedicated team which means we can stay open from 5.30am to 5.30pm."

Almost everything in the shop is sourced from local suppliers and the shop has ploughed £35,000 back into the area to support the playing field, Storth’s Little Chapel and the village hall.

Two volunteer workers – yet to be selected – will go to the House of Lords on March 30 for the national final.

The Storth shop has been supported by rural charity the Plunkett Foundation and its chief executive Peter Couchman said: “The success of Storth demonstrates what can be achieved by rural communities given the right support.

"This is a tribute to the hard work and dedication of the whole community.”