Customers in an east Suffolk town will have improved post office services this summer following a partnership deal with a major retail business.
The East of England Co-op has agreed to take over as postmaster in Aldeburgh to ensure essential post office services for the town and nearby villages are modernised and safeguarded.
Roger Grosvenor, East of England Co-op executive officer for retail, said: “The Post Office has been eager to identify thriving retail businesses in East Anglia to take on post offices when vacancies arise. As the largest independent retailer in the region, situated at the heart of so many of our towns and villages, we clearly fit the bill. We wanted to ‘do the right thing’ in keeping post office services local, and we believe this move, along with additional opening hours, brings many benefits to the community.”
Kevin Shepherd, Post Office area manager, said: “We are making it easier for customers to get their cash, send and collect their mail and do their banking because we know how important these services are to local residents. We are confident this vibrant new-style post office at the heart of the community will meet customer needs. This modernisation is part of a major investment programme, the largest in the history of the Post Office and will secure services for the future. The investment marks a commitment to no more branch closure programmes.”
East of England Co-op will take over the current post office next door to its food store in High Street. The post office will close for refurbishment on June 9, reopening on June 19. It will feature two modern screened positions at the current location, which will open with increased hours Monday to Saturday, 9am to 5.30pm. At the food store there will be a new post office serving point, alongside the retail till, offering selected services during shop opening hours, Monday to Saturday, 8am to 9am and 5.30pm to 8pm, and on Sundays from 9am to 8pm.
Mr Shepherd said the arrangements would mean an extra 36 hours and 45 minutes a week opening, including all day Sunday and Saturday afternoon. He said: “The branch will also open earlier and will close much later every day. This will make it more convenient for customers to visit.”
The new-look Aldeburgh Post Office will enable residents and small business customers to access a wide range of Post Office and mail services, including international parcels, Special Delivery, Local Collect and home shopping returns, make cash withdrawals from a Post Office Card Account, send funds abroad using Moneygram, pay bills, buy holiday money, get insurance, mortgages and savings and top up mobile phones.
As the traditional banking network declines, customers for 95% of UK banks can use their post office for online banking cash deposits and withdrawals and bill payments.
While the post office is out of action for the refurbishment, customers will be able to use the facilities at Leiston Post Office, Sizewell Road, Leiston, or Snape Post Office, Church Road, Snape.