Foundations for what will become the UK’s first underground convenience store have been laid in the village of Exbourne, Devon.

Building work on “The Burrow” is due to be completed by May, ending the village’s 10-year village store drought, following the closure of its Post Office in 2001.

Committee chairwoman Marie Winckler said the new store had been forced underground due to a shortage of flat land, and to preserve the area’s natural beauty.

Funding for the build, which is expected to cost in the region of £150,000, has been secured from The Plunkett Foundation, as well as an array of local fundraising events. 

At 1,754sq ft the new store will stock a wide array of goods from local food and drink producers as well as a full convenience offering. It will be staffed by one paid manager and a large team of volunteers.

“We’ve been amazed by the number of calls from local people wanting to register as volunteer workers,” Winckler added. “It will be particularly good for the area’s elderly people and those without cars.”