I made a recent visit to the brand new community run Creaton Village Shop and Post Office.
Two years ago the village of Creaton set up a “Save Our Shop” campaign to ensure a village shop and Post Office could remain in the village when long-serving shopkeepers Sylvia and David Winter announced that they wanted to retire.
Creaton residents and the neighbouring villages of Cottesbrooke, Hollowell and Teeton were consulted about plans for a community shop. Everyone wanted a Post Office and a convenience store selling local produce and newspapers.
Creaton Community Benefit Society Ltd was formed and £80,000 was raised by villagers buying shares in the shop. Various awards helped to raise a total of £150,000 to open the brand new shop and Post Office next to the Bricklayers Arms. The Post Office is alongside the retail counter of the shop. There are around 35 volunteers and three part-time employees.
This is a wonderful example of a community all pulling together to ensure they have what their community needs - a local shop and a Post Office thanks to people who have supported financially or with the giving of their time to prepare the building for the opening and for the running of the shop. This project has really brought out a great community spirit.
Charles Matts, Chairman of Creaton Community Benefit Society Ltd, said: “This shop and Post Office has been built by the community for the community. There has been a lot of interest from the community about the project and a lot of people are commenting about how the brand new premises look and the stock that we have as we have lots of local produce. They are delighted to have kept a Post Office.”
The opening hours of the shop and Post Office are Monday to Friday: 7.30am – 6pm; Saturday and Sunday: 8am – 12noon.
This means that the Post Office is now open an extra 13 hours and 30 minutes a week, including Sunday morning. The branch also opens much earlier every day and it no longer closes at lunchtime. These changes will make it more convenient for customers to visit.
The relocation of the Post Office is part of a major modernisation programme across the Post Office network designed to make it easier for customers to do business, through longer opening hours and modern open plan environments.
Anthony Bayley, Post Office Area Network Change Manager, said: “We are making it easier for customers to get their cash, send and collect their mail and do their banking because we know how important these services are to local residents. We are confident that this vibrant new-style Post Office at the heart of the local community will meet customer needs. This modernisation is part of a major investment programme, the largest in the history of the Post Office and will secure services for the future.”
This is a new-style local plus Post Office branch with an enhanced range of products including manual banking, and Royal Mail and Parcelforce International Services. Cheques will continue to be accepted as a method of payment.