A POST Office facing closure could survive after a firm put forward its premises as an alternative site - but the £60,000 cost of moving it is likely to be a stumbling block.
Campaigners in Wombwell fighting to keep the town’s branch, located in Heron Foods on High Street, were dealt a blow when the discount food retailer said it would be shutting the service next month.
It had initially held off on the decision, with a temporary postmaster appointed in July as alternative arrangements were sought.
But with Heron now pulling out of the arrangement, citing a need to extend its retail range, the town once again faces losing its ‘lifeline’ post office.
That is unless an alternative premises can be found - something which the company which owns the former High Street News says Post Office may be making a less attractive proposition due to the £56,000 cost quoted to complete the move.
Andrew Patel, of Go Investment Finance, said he’d liaised with the national firm over the feasibility of relocating the post office to his building, which became vacant earlier this year.
“The original quote was around £20,000, which quickly became just under £56,000 once they’d come to look at the building,” said Andrew.
“That’s just to move the counter over from where it is now and excludes the retail element which would need to go with it.
“They said it was pretty much an ideal site.
“It’s a shame - somebody needs to give Post Office a bit of a shake.
“We want to let people know that there are buildings available to keep the post office in Wombwell, we don’t want them to make that excuse.
“If there is somebody out there wanting to do it, they may be thinking whether it will be profitable enough to take it on.
“I can’t actually do anything, I’m not a postmaster, but I can start that conversation and we can work with the people who rent the building.”
Andrew said changing the shop front and installing security would bring the cost past £60,000 - but the firm would look to work with any occupant and the local authority to support the new business.
“We’d hate to lose this building as well,” he said.
“I’ve lived in Barnsley a good part of my life.
“The area and people have never really got over the closure of the pits, and every time a business closes it affects the community.
“A post office is very community-led.
“When you see one close, it doesn’t impact the younger generation as much as the older generation who often rely on making that visit.”
A Post Office spokesperson said: “We continue to actively seek a retail offer that can host a permanent Post Office in the local area as we know how much the community rely on easy access to our services.
“In the meantime, we are in discussions with interested parties about hosting a temporary ‘pop-up’ Post Office.
“This would be a counter where customers can post their letters and parcels, purchase stamps, withdraw and deposit cash and pay their bills.
“We hope to announce further details about this temporary solution in due course.”
Got a Story? - 01226 734262
Eye-watering move cost for Post Office revealed
Author: Luke Watson
Temporary school plan revealed for congested area Covid death rate revealed as critical workers’ rapid tests are rolled out ‘Appalling’ state of free meals handed out to town’s children revealed Businessman blasts council’s support Council leader angered by social media reaction Mother blasts impatient motorists after toddler’s struck New striker Morris excited by talent at Oakwell after move Beloved pet dies after town centre dog attack Flood warnings in place across borough Mowatt wants to stay beyond January after bid rejected, says Ismael