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Kett’s Books Secure £300,000 Grant To Buy Market Place Premises

Jane Elston Published: 01 April 2024

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Group of smiling people in book shop

Kett’s Books, Wymondham’s independent community bookshop, is delighted to have been awarded a grant of nearly £300,000 towards the purchase of their present premises at 11 Market Place. The volunteer-run bookshop successfully secured the grant provided by the government’s Community Ownership Fund, by demonstrating that Kett’s Books adds value to Wymondham and to its customers’ and volunteers’ lives.

Kett’s Books relocated to their new premises in September 2023 and since the move, has gone from strength to strength. The increased space, with its beautiful interior, has enabled the shop to provide a greater selection of books and they are seeing a large increase in customers not only from Wymondham but from much further afield. The shop is now able to offer more volunteering opportunities for the local community and also provides space for other community businesses to rent, and a small event space for hire, making the bookshop a real community asset.

Their success has been recognised by the Bookseller magazine’s National Book Awards, who recently named Kett’s Books ‘Independent Bookshop of the Year’ for the East. The team behind Kett’s Books is looking forward to finding out whether they will be named the UK Independent Bookshop of the Year at a prestigious ceremony in May.

Tracy Kenny, Managing Director of Kett’s Books, says: “So many people put so much personal investment into getting us into our new home, we realised it was urgent to protect that investment for the long-term. We turned to the Community Ownership Fund to help us secure our future by buying the building, so Kett’s Books can stay at 11 Market Place. “The work is not done - we have to raise 20% match funding in order to complete the purchase. We are contacting local grant-making bodies for support, but our own community has been following this journey, and has already pledged about a third of the remaining £62,500 we need to raise.

“The people of Wymondham and further afield believe in what we’re doing with the community bookshop - they see that we are offering a benefit to the town, and running a business in a way that resonates with how they believe the world should be. By owning the building we will be able to do this for the long-term, further invest in the area, and continue to grow a love of reading for adults and children - which can have a life-changing impact on families across the town and villages.”

Brick building shop front at night with christmas lights

Tracy added ‘We were able to move into Market Place because of the support of our customers and volunteers and funding from Kett's Books Friends, the Norwich Freemen's Charity, and the South Norfolk Council Pride in Place Fund, and we sincerely thank them and all our customers for their support.’

Anyone who would like to know more about Kett’s Books, the work they do, and how individuals or organisations can be involved is welcome to attend an open house on these dates:

Wednesday 3 April 18:00, Friday 19 April 14:00, and Thursday 2 May 18:00

Kett’s Books would like to extend their thanks to the government-backed Community Ownership Fund for recognising the value that the bookshop offers to volunteers as well as the town, and giving them the opportunity to serve the community for generations to come.

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