News on Blythburgh village shop

A VILLAGE shop has been revived after new occupants were found to take over the occupancy.

The future of the Village Stores at Blythburgh looked doubtful when the former proprietor, and landlord of the neighbouring White Hart Inn, served notice to pub owner Adnams on the running of the shop and adjoining post office.

Sadly, no one has yet come forward to take over the running of the post office but Adnams confirmed new shopkeepers had been found.

Rupert and Charlotte Chantry have been named as the new occupiers and, according to Adnams, will be using the space as a farm shop.

Mr Chantry is a local farmer from Thorington and has supplied meat and root vegetables to several pubs and restaurants in the area, including The Anchor at Walberswick and The Ship at Dunwich.

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The previous tenancy of the shop ended at the beginning of the month, to the regret of White Hart landlord Sean Lofty, who no longer felt the business was financially viable but whose pub continues to do good trade and is popular with tourists.

Mr Lofty held the tenancy for 10 years after the village lost its previous post office and shop – during which time it was hailed by Prince Charles as an example of community partnership and became the first business to benefit from The Prince of Wales' Pub is the Hub initiative in 2001. The Prince even visited the site in 2008 to celebrate its progress.

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Meanwhile, the Post Office has yet to find a new subpostmaster since the Blythburgh service closed on August 26.

Post Office spokeswoman Valerie Antoine 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 available.

'Our priority is to maintain services to the local community and it is therefore important that any future service is sustainable for the person operating the service and for Post Office Ltd.'

A number of alternatives operate nationwide including Outreach services run by subpostmasters from nearby branches.

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