Bob Walter MP and loyal customer Mac Mortiboy cut the ribbon with postmaster Jan Attfield and her husband Rick to officially re-open the refurbished Fontmell Magna Village Shop & Post Office following its two-and-a-half week closure.
Bob welcomed the fact that local residents will now benefit from an improved layout and an extra 26 hours of post office service every week. This is because the branch was previously open part-time, opening six mornings a week and one afternoon.
The Post Office has pledged that the new, simpler, local format operating model will see no compromise on the vital security and privacy customers deserve and expect. The Post Office already operates over 700 new-style branches and feedback thus far suggests customers welcome the longer opening hours too.
Following the nationwide branch closure programme that took place under the previous government in 2008, the Coalition Government committed £1.34bn to the national post office network to make sure this would not happen again. A further £640m investment for the period 2015 to 2018 was also announced last November. Nationwide the investment programme will see up to 8,000 branches modernised with additional investment in over 3,000 community and outreach branches.
Bob Walter MP said: “I was delighted to be invited to re-open the refurbished Fontmell Magna Post Office and know that my constituents will be thrilled that they can now access this vital service every day.
“I have always believed that post offices play an important role in our rural communities, much like village shops and schools, and I have long campaigned to see their future secured here in North Dorset. They are not just businesses providing a service, but places that perform a vital social and economic function at the very heart of village life.”