A Dales bookshop is making a desperate appeal for cash amid fears the building will soon collapse – under the weight of its 100,000 books.
Scarthin Books, in Cromford, needs major renovation to ensure its three floors don’t crumble under the weight of the literature, and owners have launched an ambitious fundraising drive to save the shop.
The much-loved shop has served customers for 40 years now, and was even voted as the sixth best bookshop in the world by Guardian online in 2007.
But now the shop must find £4,000 for vital repairs – or risk closing down for good.
Owner Dave Mitchell said: “We’ve been groaning under the weight of our ever-increasing stock for some time and although temporary builders’ supports have done a good job over the past 40 years, it’s now time to make the job more professional – and safe.”
Dave has turned to the Crowdfunding website in a bid to raise half of the cash for repairs, which include: installing steel columns into concrete foundations under the shop floor; roof repairs; new central heating; redecoration; new and extended shelving; new carpets; patio repairs; as well as a staff toilet.
Dave said: “For many years we’ve sidelined building and general maintenance work in favour of ploughing any spare cash – and our overdraft – back into the bookshop and on creative expansion projects in the children’s room, art room, music room and cafe.”
He added: “As with all independent bookshops, we operate within incredibly tight budgets, and any money raised over and above our initial target would make a significant difference to our ability to not only continue to operate at our current level, but to make some substantial improvements – and improve the longer term stability of our much-loved bookshop.”
General Manager David Booker added: “The shop is struggling to generate the extra funds needed for capital improvement and even if we were able to secure a small business loan, the tiny margins within which we operate would make it very difficult to afford. Any small profit we do make is continually re-invested into the shop and its vegetarian cafe.”
Scarthin Books has frequently featured in many top bookshop lists that appear in the national and international media, and has also been featured as a location in several TV and film productions.
You can read more about Scarthin Books by visiting www.scarthinbooks.com.
To donate, or to find more information on the appeal, visit http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/scarthin-books-needs-your-help?fb_ref=Default.