Wymondham Community Bookshop is a Community Interest Company (CIC), which is “a special type of limited company which exists to benefit the community rather than private shareholders.” Because we run the shop as volunteers, to benefit Wymondham and the towns and villages around us, we believed the CIC structure was best for us. You can read more about CICs on the CIC regulator’s website.
Since February 2014 we have run Kett’s Books as a not-for-profit independent bookshop in the market town of Wymondham in South Norfolk. Our video explains some of what we’ve done in our first two years. Read more
In 2013 a group of volunteers met in the Cross Keys pub in the town to discuss the fact that the existing bookshop was closing due to retirement. The group soon realised a shared vision for a shop which turned its profits back to the community it serves.
Despite the odds, and in only four short months they had raised funds, formed as a company, secured a lease and called together a group of people who wish to spread and grow the love of reading with their neighbours.
The group take the name as a tribute to the community values shown by the town’s famous son Robert Kett, whose story can be read in the shop sign (full text below):
“Kett’s Books is named after Wymondham’s most famous son Robert Kett, a wealthy and respected local landowner. In 1549 Robert Kett gave his support to the people of the town who were rallying against the forced enclosure of the common land. He tore down his own fences and sacrificed all that he had to lead their revolt.
“From under an old oak tree between Wymondham and Hethersett, Kett made a rousing speech offering his life to the cause. He and 16,000 rebels then stormed Norwich, defeating a force sent by the Government to suppress the uprising. The campaign soon ended however, as Kett was later captured, tried for treason and hanged from the walls of Norwich Castle.
“Nearly 500 years later, Kett’s Books uses his name as a tribute to the values he upheld for the people of this town. This shop is owned and run by the community it serves with any profits being used for the benefit of the people of Wymondham and the surrounding area.
“Welcome, and feel free to browse. Share our passion for books and the joy of reading.”