Published: 10:00, 31 January 2018
The Post Office is to launch a seven-day-a-week outlet in Sheerness just yards from its Broadway branch and says the two will run alongside each other.
The new Clock Tower Post Office in the Premier Corner Shop next to the town's clock tower will open at 1pm on Wednesday, February 28, after a two-week refit.
The news comes two years after the Post Office announced plans to scrap the Broadway branch.
A spokesman insisted today: "There are no plans to close Sheerness Post Office. Sheerness and The Clock Tower branches will both serve the town."
Businessman Colin Barrett, who owns the corner stores, said he had been in talks since Post Office bosses announced they wanted to move out of the Broadway site two years ago.
Mr Barrett, 55, from Minster, said: "My wife Dawn and I have both completed courses to become Postmasters. Additional phone lines and security cameras have already been installed.”
Builders move in on February 17. The shop will remain open during the refurbishment. His existing staff will run the Post Office counter but two part-timers may be needed later.
Mr Barrett, who also owns the town’s relaunched Ivy Leaf Club, said: "It is ironic that I bought this shop seven years ago as a retirement job but it just seems to get busier.Having the Post Office should increase our footfall and give us longevity.
"Our customers are really looking forward to it. Luckily, it is a large store with plenty of space. I suppose I will now have to buy a red Postman Pat van.”
The wheelchair-friendly shop will retain all its lines apart from its £1 range. Two new counters are being added where the wine-chiller currently now stands.
The new Post Office counter will be open seven days a week from 7am to 8pm and 9.30pm on Fridays and Saturdays. It will open at 8am on Sundays.
Cheryl Sitch, Post Office network operations manager said: "We want to make it as easy as possible for customers to pay their bills, withdraw cash from their bank accounts and send and collect their mail at a time and place that suits them best.
"We know how important our services are to customers and are confident this brand new Post Office, alongside the other branch in Sheerness, will ensure people in Sheerness have easy access to our services."
Plans to close Sheerness Post Office were first announced as part of a series of cuts in January 2016.
CWU assistant secretary Andy Furey said at the time: "This is devastating news for our members. It is death by a thousand cuts.
"The Post Office should never have been split from Royal Mail – natural synergies and public services have been sacrificed for greed and profit."
Royal Mail, which owns the Broadway premises and operates a delivery office at the back, said it had no plans to move its operations.
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