Is this Sussex’s smallest shop?

Shop owner Liz Horwood

Shop owner Liz Horwood

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WASHINGTON claims to have the smallest village shop in Sussex.

The Village Larder opens on August 1 and the owners boast it is the smallest village shop in the county, measuring at just 115 square feet.

The smallest shop in the UK is reportedly in Hudswell, North Yorkshire and measures 100 square feet.

In a former life it was a pony stable adjacent to the Frankland Arms pub in London Road. It was then used as a Post Office but closed in 2005.

Now thanks to resident Liz Horwood it is to become a village shop serving the community seven days a week.

She said: “Villagers have to travel by car or bus to visit shops in Ashington, Storrington, Steyning or Worthing. With fewer buses and increasing petrol prices, I want to give local people the opportunity to walk to the Village Larder for their shopping and have a chat.”

The shop will carry over 500 products and will have a wide range of produce mainly sourced within a 15 mile radius from farmers, growers and home-based producers.

She said: “I’m very conscious of food miles and keeping these to a minimum. It’s true that our essential products, such as baked beans and toilet rolls will have travelled further-a-field, but local distribution will help keep food miles down.

“All our fresh produce, meat, fish, dairy, fruit and vegetables are coming from our local food heroes.”

Liz is confident that The Village Larder will cope with competition from supermarkets and farm shops as she feels the recession has helped to bring a focus back to local communities.