The future of a village shop has been secured thanks to a young couple who have stepped in to take on the business.

Ethan Gilbert, 22, and Charley Mortimer, 20, have taken over the Colne Engaine Village Shop, Church Street, and will re-open it tomorrow.

There were fears the important community asset may be forced to close if new tenants could not be found, but the couple, who live in Earls Colne, stepped in and have big plans for the future of the business.

Mr Gilbert, who has just left his job with a finance company, said: “It is a well-established business but we think we can put our own stamp on it.

“We love the feel of the village and the community and we want to be a big part of it.

"We know it will be hard work and long hours but it will be worth it in the end.

"Some people in the village were worried the shop would have to shut and there are a lot of people that rely on it.”

The possibility of bringing a Post Office counter is being discussed with Royal Mail, and Mr Gilbert said the duo were keen to hear other ideas from regular customers about what they wanted to see in the shop.

“We rely on people’s support to earn our living but people rely on the shop as well,” he said.

“We want to hear ideas from the community about how we can help them.

“We are reviewing the stock and asking residents what we could add to it and we want to hear from people about what they would like to change.”

Previous owners Richard and Wendy Jones left the business in order to spend more time as a family.

Mr Jones said: “We have thoroughly enjoyed our nearly 11 years at the village shop, we’ve seen many changes in the people and families coming and going.

“One thing we have noticed in the last few years is people are realising how much they need village shops and our village and the surrounding area have been very supportive of us.”

The shop will be open from Saturday morning.