Mid Sussex MP Sir Nicholas Soames cut the ribbon yesterday to mark the relocation of Ashurst Wood Post Office to Ashurst Wood Village Store, in Maypole Road.
The new Postmaster Mukunthan Thangarajah and his wife Siva organised a community fun day with a bouncy castle, face painting, refreshments and goody bags.
Youngsters from Ashurst Wood Community Pre-school were among those who attended the opening event, and the Pre-School received a charity donation for £615.73 from Ashurst Wood Stores as part of the Nisa Make a Difference Locally charity store loyalty scheme.
Sir Nicholas said: “I am delighted to officially open the re-located Ashurst Wood Post Office.
“Not only has the village retained a Post Office, it has actually really benefitted as the new branch is open seven days a week from early until late.
“That’s very handy. I want to thank Mr and Mrs Thangarajah for taking on the Post Office and enhancing the service.”
New Postmaster Mr Thangarajah, who has run Ashurst Wood Stores since 2001, said: “We are delighted to have taken on the Post Office and the local community is really pleased.
“The new Post Office counter has fitted in well within the store and customers are impressed with the longer opening hours.”
A statement from Post Office Ltd said: “The move was 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.
“There is also improved accessibility as the previous branch had steps and the new branch has level access and a wide automatic door.
“During consultation we received a number of comments from customers and local representatives very much in support of the change.
“The new Post Office is in a more central location, and they welcomed the improved access and longer opening hours that the change would provide.
“Services are now provided throughout shop opening hours Monday – Saturday: 7.30am – 8pm; Sunday: 8.30am – 6pm.
“This is an extra 38 hours and 30 minutes a week of Post Office service including all-day Sunday and Saturday afternoon.
“The branch now opens earlier and closes much later every day. This makes it more convenient for customers to visit.”
Will Russell, Regional 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.”
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