The buildings at The Cross, a small square at the heart of Coupar Angus, were mostly renovated thanks to a grant from the Townscape Heritage Initiative a decade ago. But one small building, Meg’s Cafe, was left undeveloped and unloved. And then, in 2015, the Scottish Government launched its Town Centre Community Capital fund and so the local development trust, Forward Coupar Angus (FCA), applied. As FCA said in its application … ‘Occasionally circumstances conspire in a way which can benefit all. The small, award winning Perthshire town of Coupar Angus would benefit from a community shop. Forward Coupar Angus is developing a set of businesses which would use the shop as a retail outlet. The owner of the last remaining undeveloped building at The Cross, in the centre of Coupar Angus, has offered the property for sale to FCA. A relatively small, but significant proportion of the funds required to purchase the property have been pledged by individuals and organisations in the town, but the owner is keen to sell quickly and the remaining funds are needed urgently. Then the Town Centre Community Capital Fund is launched. Bring all these things together and by the end of March 2016 Coupar Angus could have its own thriving Community Shop at The Cross, the physical, social and cultural hub of the town. Currently the attractive nature of The Cross is significantly marred by the empty semi-derelict and vacant Meg’s Cafe, the very property that FCA wishes to purchase. Redevelopment of this property would be the last piece in the modernisation of the town centre jigsaw. Its redevelopment for the benefit of the community would be a unique opportunity that cannot repeated.’ Amazingly the project was funded, FCA bought the building, local architect Sundeep Salins was appointed to manage the project and local tradesmen were employed to upgrade the building. By June 2016 the town had a new ‘High Street Store’ and it was opened by the original Meg, local resident Margaret Whyte. Our new store is dedicated to selling local products. We have vegetables from the FCA community garden and crafts from the local arts and crafts group ‘Showcase’. And since June 2016 the store has been run by a willing, enthusiastic and growing band of volunteers. Now FCA have offices to operate from and the confidence to start other building renovation projects in the town. A number of local artists and craft workers, some exhibiting their works for the first time, have a ‘home’ from which to sell their projects. And the volunteers in the community garden have the fun of seeing people enjoy the ‘fruits’ of their work.