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Will town's post office be saved?

PUBLISHED: 12:31 16 October 2019 | UPDATED: 12:31 16 October 2019

Martin's, the Miller's Walk newagents and post office set to close PICTURE: Matthew Farmer

Martin's, the Miller's Walk newagents and post office set to close PICTURE: Matthew Farmer

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The future of a busy market town's post office is looking brighter after representatives confirmed that they have an "interested party" looking to take it over.

Miller's walk on a busy lunchtime PICTURE: Matthew FarmerMiller's walk on a busy lunchtime PICTURE: Matthew Farmer

The announcement comes following a meeting of Fakenham Town Council, which welcomed Matthew Hatfull, change manager from the post office, to speak about its plans.

Earlier this year, residents in Fakenham feared they may be left without a branch because the convenience store where it is located is closing down .

The McColl's store in Miller's Walk, is due to close on January 31 next year, meaning the post office will have to shut as well.

But since the meeting, a post office spokesperson has confirmed that good news could be on the horizon.

Fakenham town mayor, Gilly Foortse. Picture: FAKENHAM TOWN COUNCILFakenham town mayor, Gilly Foortse. Picture: FAKENHAM TOWN COUNCIL

"We attended a council meeting on Tuesday evening to reassure the community that we are committed to providing post office services in Fakenham," they said.

"The current operator of Fakenham Post Office has resigned and the branch will no longer be operated by McColl's from the end of January.

"We have an interested party, who is already an existing postmaster elsewhere, who wants to operate Fakenham Post Office at the current location.

"We are working hard to maintain post office service in Fakenham without any break in service."

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The announcement will be welcomed in the town after concerns were raised that it could be left without the service.

A meeting of the full council took place on Tuesday, October 15 at Fakenham Connect on Oak Street.

Town mayor Gilly Foortse, who attended the meeting, said: "The news is that the intention is we should continue to have a post office. There is no way we will be left without one.

"At the meeting, Matthew Hatfull, from the post office, said they are opening more post offices than ever to help bridge the gap left by banks closing.

"Although we are fortunate not to have many empty premises currently in our town."

McColl's had agreed to continue to operate the post office until early 2020, which is beyond their notice period.

Post offices are required to consult on planned changes to the service, and if these are necessary they will be advertised in the store.

The vacancy remains advertised on www.runapostoffice.co.uk, where the final date for applications is listed as May 2020.

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