We’d like to welcome two new branches to the network, following the official opening last week of Post Offices in Broughton, Hampshire, in our South East region – attended by Group CEO, Nick Read – and Hexham, Northumberland in the North of England region.
Broughton, South East region
To mark their achievement of creating the Broughton Community Shop, Post Office and coffee shop through community fundraising, villagers held a major celebration attended by Nick Read and MP for Romsey and Southampton North, Caroline Nokes. Meridian TV filmed and broadcast the official opening event on Saturday (7 March) where presenter, Fred Dinenage, cut the ribbon.
When the previous Postmaster, Bob Gillespie, wanted to retire, the village joined forces to found Broughton Community Shop Committee, to safeguard their everyday essential services, rather than face a four-mile drive to buy a pint of milk, post a parcel or do banking at the nearest alternative Post Office. The committee, headed by Julia Jenkins and Jane Tabor, incorporated a ‘community benefit society’ to sell shares, priced at £20 to reflect the village’s SO20 postcode. More than 200 residents invested and raised £51,000 in six weeks.
The Post Office field team worked closely with Broughton Community Shop Committee. As the new premises were not going to be ready for the Postmaster’s retirement, we arranged for nearby Barton Stacey Postmaster to operate his mobile Post Office service in the village.
Zoe Sprackling, Post Office Business Support Manager, said: “When the village of Broughton was set to lose its Post Office and shop… it came together as one community... As a Business Support Manager I'm so happy to be supporting this branch… ensuring they don’t just provide a service for their community, yet grow in confidence to have the conversations with their customers about all the Post Office products.”
Hexham, North of England region
Ash Singh, Group Director of VPS, and his team were joined by Guy Opperman, MP for Hexham, to cut the ribbon last Friday (6 March) at the official opening of the new Hexham Post Office at High Street Convenience Store.
Hexham is the second Post Office to be run by experienced retailer, VPS. The new Hexham branch has safeguarded Post Office services to the town as the old Post Office was inside the Beales Department store, which has recently closed.
Ash Singh, said: “I am really pleased with how well Hexham Post Office and store is going. Business is already flying. Customers are delighted that they have the Post Office in the town centre. People are coming into use the Post Office and are also purchasing from the retail side, but people are also coming in just to buy from the shop as it is very conveniently located.”