BROCKENHURST’S post office will shut this summer – unless somebody comes forward to take over the business.
Postmistress Elizabeth Kernaghan has announced she is to step down after a year in the role at the Brookley Road branch in August.
“I am disappointed to be leaving but it has not been working for me,” said the 27-year-old, who lives in Southampton. “It would be a real shame if it did not carry on though as the branch has been in the village for a very long time.
“I think to work it would have to be run primarily as a retail unit with a post office counter.”
Julia Lobley, who has owned the premises since 1995, said she too would welcome somebody interested in continuing with a post office.
“She was a good tenant and I will be very sorry to see her go,” Mrs Lobley told the A&T. “But she had been struggling for some time to make ends meet.
“I know that the post office has been looking to move the branch from its current location into one of the shops in the village, but nobody wants it.
“The only suitable stores would be Sainsbury or Tesco, but they don’t want to give up any of their floor space.”
Mrs Lobley continued: “I would be happy to see somebody take over, but the problem is if people don’t use it and do everything online they lose it. Buying just one stamp is not going to bring enough money in.
“If nobody wanted to run a post office there, I would have to consider tenants with an interest in retail or office space,” she said.
A spokesperson for the Post Office confirmed it had recently received a resignation letter from Miss Kernaghan to take effect from mid-August.
“We understand how important a post office is to a community and we would like to reassure customers that we are working hard to maintain a service in that area, either at the existing location or new premises,” the spokesperson said.
Any retailer or small business owner interested in incorporating the post office into their business should email NTquestions@postoffice.co.uk or visit https://runapostoffice.co.uk to view details of the vacancy.
As recently reported in the A&T, Sway’s post office counter will also close because the new owners of the newsagents do not want to continue running it.