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Thursday 28 August 2014

Village vending machine 'amazing'

Published 21/03/2014 | 16:27

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Villagers in Clifton, Derbyshire are stocking up on essentials at a giant vending machine.

A giant vending machine is helping the residents of one village to stock up on essentials like milk and eggs once more.

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The machine, in Clifton, Derbyshire, provides residents with 24-hour access to 80 products including tea, cereals, washing powder, shampoo, shower gel and eggs.

The Clifton Village Stores, in the car park of the Cock Inn in the picturesque village, has been designed to fill the hole left by the village shop that closed down more than 10 years ago.

People can pay for the products using cash or card.

The machine was designed by electrical engineer Peter Fox, who said he had had a positive response to the machine from locals.

The 50-year-old, from Ashbourne, said: "They think it's great fun and that the prices are reasonable. Everyone has been very supportive."

He said: "I thought of the idea because I used to live in a small village myself and it had closed by the time I got back from work.

"I used to think 'wouldn't it be great if there was a big vending machine'."

A few years later and the dream has become reality.

The machine has a number of security features and cameras and Mr Fox receives constant updates from the machine on stock levels.

He said that he was looking to roll out more machines in Derbyshire over the next few months.

"It's got massive potential but we're only a small business. If a large company came in with us we could look to expand across the UK."

Andrew Garside, landlord of the Cock Inn for 11 years, said the "shop" was already proving a hit with villagers and people from the local area.

The 48-year-old said: "The village shop closed down because the people retired and no-one else took it on.

"Peter had the idea for the "automated shop" a while ago. It's an absolutely amazing bit of kit.

"All the basics are in there from toothpaste, eggs, milk, bread, soup. It's gone down extremely well with villagers and people from the local area already."

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