Lowestoft post office to move from iconic building to inside a WHSmith

Lowestoft Post Office.

Lowestoft Post Office. - Credit: Nick Butcher

Concerns have been expressed at a post office's move from an iconic town centre building to inside a book store.

The Post Office confirmed on Tuesday (August 2) that it will be moving its main Lowestoft branch from its current location in a historic building the main shopping area in London Road North to nearby WHSmith.

In a statement, it pointed out that the new location will be just 110 metres from the old one and would continue to provide a wide range of services.

Roger Gale, general manager for the Post Office's Crown branch network, added that the change would help to ensure the branch is commercially viable - and therefore remain in the town for the future.

'Our customers' needs continue to change and we are responding to that, taking the right action to sustain our services for years to come,' he said.

'We are committed to remaining on high streets and at the heart of communities and we are making changes right across our network to enable us to do so.

'We believe the WHSmith premises will provide an excellent host location. The WHSmith retail offer will complement the wide range of Post Office products and services.'

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But several residents have expressed sadness at the move - with Pat Blowers, of Silverwood Close, Carlton Colville, saying before Tuesday's decision: 'The Victorian post office building is something of a landmark in Lowestoft High Street and should this debacle be allowed to happen, it will be yet another loss of an iconic establishment in the town.'

Alan Green, Labour opposition spokesman for tourism and economic development on Waveney District Council, said: 'Personally, I think it's a bad move.

'For a major town like Lowestoft to lose its main post office in the centre of the town is not good.

'I've lived here for 30 years and the town centre is totally losing its identity. It is a brilliant building and I think it will just fall by the wayside. It needs to be used and that needs to be set up fairly quickly.'

The move is scheduled to take place on September 15.

The new branch will have five counters and two self-service kiosks, with opening hours from 09:00 until 17:30 Monday to Friday (09.30 opening on Tuesdays) and 0.900 -12.30 on Saturdays.

What do you think of the decision to move Lowestoft post office to WHSmith? Write, giving your full contact details, to andrew.papworth@archant.co.uk

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