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nrp-pilotmassnahmen-bergebiete-en

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Spiringen

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A small Alpine community in the Schächental valley in the canton of Uri,
some 900 metres above sea level.

The population of this predominantly farming village is 836 ‒ and has been on the decline for several years now.
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Tourists come up to Spiringen for its hiking and ski trails and for its vast cableway network.
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Shop closure

Last year, the local inhabitants were hit with some bad news: the village's last remaining grocery shop was to close its doors as it was no longer economically viable.
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Working group

A working group was set up soon after to sound out local interest in a new village shop.
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Sämi Gisler

Electrician
Member of the working group

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The household poll by the working group revealed wide support for keeping the village shop open. More than a third of the local inhabitants said they would be happy to buy their weekly groceries there.
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Following discussions with a few potential suppliers, the working group opted for Volg, with their Prima partnership model.
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Cooperative

However, Volg could not help finance the new shop. So other solutions had to be found.
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Shortly after the shop cooperative was founded, over 300 people signed up for at least one share certificate costing CHF 250.
This new venture means villagers can now shop locally again and even access postal services there ‒ but that's only part of the reason for rejoicing. It is hoped now that the cooperative and the new shop will boost the village's overall development and also help Spiringen attract more tourists.

Website municipality Spiringen (german)

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Local produce

Der Laden soll den lokalen The new shop will also bring income opportunities for local farms by selling their produce, such as cheese, eggs, meat and preserves.
The shop will also sell tokens for the mountain railways in Schächental as well as the stickers for toll mountain roads.


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NRP Support

By embedding the new village shop into an overall development concept, the project was eligible to receive CHF 35,000 in co-funding from the federal government's New Regional Policy (NRP), under its pilot measures for mountain regions.

New Regional Policy (NRP)

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«Mountain regions face certain economic challenges, particularly in regard to rural flight or competitiveness. It is often difficult for local stakeholders to access the various instruments available, such as the NRP. With our pilot measures for mountain regions, we are working with the relevant cantons to test some new possibilities, such as experimental projects and non-refundable government grants for small-scale infrastructure projects.»

Valérie Donzel
Head of Regional Policy
State Secretariat for Economic Affairs SECO






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Construction

And so the work began.

With a combination of the villagers' share participation, a loan from the Commune of Spiringen, contributions from Swiss Mountain Aid and funding from the NRP pilot measures for mountain regions, the finance needed for the village shop project was finally secured.

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Local companies were contracted for almost all of the work. But the renovations would never have been possible in such a short space of time without all the volunteers.
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Opening

After a month of renovations, the cooperative handed over the shop to the two women managing the business.
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A few hours before the big opening, the fresh produce is delivered and stacked.

The new shop is almost twice as big as before and stocks a much wider range of products. And it's open for much longer to meet the villagers' varied needs.
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The time has come: the first customers are arriving.

The locals' first impressions of their new shop are encouraging.

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Future

The opening day was a huge success and the sense of enthusiasm in the village was palpable.
It remains to be seen whether the people here will stick with their local shop over time and whether this new business really can help develop the village as hoped.


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«With the NRP pilot measures for mountain regions, we can try out various new approaches to economic development in remote locations. The people of Spiringen seized this opportunity, set up a village cooperative and, with their new shop, created a starting point for further development. If Spiringen can follow this with more projects, the village stands to benefit from all the positive momentum, for an improved quality of life and economic development. This is a good thing!»

Valérie Donzel
Head of Regional Policy
State Secretariat for Economic Affairs SECO





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«Such broad-based initiatives for economic development as the one in Spiringen are really worth supporting. The new village shop is the first main part of the project to be realised. The NRP supports this project under its pilot measures for mountain regions because it is so much more than just a village shop. I look forward to seeing it develop into a lively hub with further opportunities, services and follow-on projects for the village.»

Linda Russi
NRP project manager
Tourism, Canton of Uri


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Links

Urner Wochenblatt (german)
25. Juli 2020
05. Oktober 2020
10. Oktober 2020
14. November 2020
05. Dezember 2020
30. Januar 2021

SRF Regionaljournal Zentralschweiz
05.April 2021 (4 min. german)
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Bernadette Bissig

Local councillor
Member of the working group:

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Simon Gisler

Office employee
Member of the working group

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Irene Herger
Shop manager

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Manuela Imhof
Optician
Member of the working group

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Margrit Imhof
Shop manager

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02 Manuela








Manuela Imhof
Optician

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Simon Gisler

Office employee
Member of the working group

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02 Bernadette





Bernadette Bissig

Postal worker
Local councillor

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Sämi Gisler
Electrician
Member of the working group

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02 Rene

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René Müller
Zimmermann

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02 Simon G






Simon Gisler

Office employee

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02 Franz







Franz Imholz
Driving instructor
Part-time journalist

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Bernadette Bissig
Local councillor
Member of the working group

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Sämi Gisler

Electrician
Member of the working group

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Overview
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Chapter 2 Shop closure

Chapter 3 Working group

Chapter 4 Cooperative

Chapter 5 Local produce

Chapter 6 NRP Support

Chapter 7 Construction

Chapter 8 Opening

Chapter 9 Future

Chapter 10 Links

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  • Director / Camera:
    Patrick Bürge
    Photos / Drone pilot:
    Franz Imholz
    Sound / Media-Flow:
    Max Fahrni
    Production:
    YAK Film GmbH, Bern

    © SECO 2021