A red letter day for post office

Willingdon post office
Willingdon post office

The post office in Lower Willingdon will be closing for a week in July so it can undergo a revamp.

The post office, at 2-4 Coppice Avenue, Willingdon, will close from July 7 until July 14 to create a new look, local-style, open-plan branch with significantly longer opening hours for customers.

Post Office local is a new concept for delivering Post Office services, ensuring branches stay open in local communities.

The new Lower Willingdon Post Office will have an open plan till at the retail counter where Post Office products and services will be available alongside retail transactions throughout shop opening hours.

There is a new operator, Mrs Bhumika Patel, who has just taken on Lower Willingdon Post Office.

Post Office Area Manager Peter Wilkinson said: “We understand how important having a Post Office is to residents in Lower Willingdon and we are confident this new modern Post Office service will meet the needs of the local community and secure services for the future.

“This modernisation is part of a major investment programme, the largest in the history of the Post Office, and marks a commitment to no more branch closure programmes.”

Once the refurbishment has taken place Post Office customers will benefit from opening hours being extended to 101 hours and 30 minutes a week as the new branch will open Monday to Sunday: 7.30am until 10pm which Post Office staff says equates to 55 hours and 30 minutes more than currently offered.

The opening hours include all day Sunday, Saturday afternoon and significantly earlier opening and much later closing every day.

Under the current Parliament the Government has committed £1.34bn for the Post Office network to make sure there is no programme of Post Office closures and to update branches.

In November the Government announced a further £640m investment in the Post Office network, from 2015 to 2018.

Nationwide the investment programme will see up to 8,000 branches modernised with additional investment in more than 3,000 community and outreach branches.

The Post Office, now independent of Royal Mail, is the largest retail network in the UK, with over 11,500 branches.

For more information about the changes visit www.postoffice.co.uk