Future for Blythburgh post office still unclear

The future of a village store and post office remains in the balance after a community takeover was ruled out.

As previously reported, the post office and village store at Blythburgh faces closure unless it can find a new tenant.

The shop, off the A12, next to the White Hart pub, was once praised by Prince Charles as a beacon of rural business.

But, two months ago, the White Hart's landlord served notice to the pub's owner Adnams – prompting fears that both the store and post office would shut.

Villagers held a public meeting back in July to discuss the possibility of running the shop as a community enterprise, but have now concluded they would be unable to gather enough volunteers to run it.

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David Tytler, chairman of Blythburgh Parish Council, said: 'Whilst there is a clear wish in the parish for the shop to stay it seems that a community enterprise is simply not viable here.'

Adnams has said it remains 'confident' the village shop will remain open when the current tenant leaves in September.

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At the same time Suffolk Coastal MP Therese Coffey has pledged to support the post office.

She said: 'Clearly this is disappointing, especially given the good news that the service is to be restored at Wangford. I will work with the Post Office to push for the service to be restored.'

On Monday, the Post Office announced that its Blythburgh branch would temporarily close on Friday, August 26 due to the resignation of the current subpostmaster but added that they are also keen to see it survive.

A spokesman said: 'Customers can be assured that it remains our intention to keep a Post Office service in Blythburgh.

'And we are currently investigating the options.'

During the closure, locals can use nearby branches in Wenhaston, Westleton, and Southwold.

• It was recently announced that the post office at Wangford is to reopen. The branch, based at Wangford Community Centre, closed in June 2009 following the departure of the sub-postmaster. But it will open again on September 6, serving customers for two days a week as a 'hosted outreach service'. It will be based at the community centre in Millfields, and run by the subpostmaster from Yoxford Post Office.

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