Congleton town centre is to have a post office for the first time in three years.
A new counter will open within WH Smith on High Street on Monday, 25th October.
The centre of Congleton has been without a post office since the branch at the former Bargain Booze store on Mill Street closed in 2018.
Since then the only other post office counters have been in West Heath or Hightown, after the branch within McColl’s in Buglawton also closed.
The post office counter within the former Dean’s toy shop on Lawton Street, now the Young Pretender bar, closed in 2008.
Responding to the announcement Coun Russell Chadwick, chair of the town council’s regeneration working group, said: “This is fantastic news and tremendous for the town centre. The other two post offices have done a great job, but we needed one in the middle of town, not least to make it more convenient for people to take parcels to.
“With the Lion and Swan having reopened and Capitol Walk opening in November, it is tremendous.”
The new branch will provide 57 hours of Post Office services a week and will be open Monday-Sunday.
Customers with the UK’s main banks will be able to access their accounts there while other services available will include bill payment, cash withdrawals and pre-order foreign currency, postage, home shopping collections and returns.
Max Sims, Post Office strategic partner manager, said it was “keen to restore services to this community as soon as possible” adding: “We know how important our services are to customers. We are delighted that Congleton will soon have a Post Office in the town centre inside the WH Smith store.
“We want to make it as easy as possible for customers to pay their bills, withdraw cash from their bank accounts, and send and collect their mail at a time and place that suits them best.”
The Post Office said Congleton Town Council had been campaigning for a branch in the town centre, but the coronavirus pandemic caused a delay to a re-opening.
The Chronicle tentatively enquired about having a post office in our high street premises but was told the Post Office no longer leased space itself, and a refurb would cost at least £20,000.
Congleton town councillor Coun Suzie Firkin said: “We’ve been working hard over the last 12-18 months to keep Congleton high up on the priority list for a post office. We were looking at all sorts of options, including the town hall and library.
“We are delighted to hear that WH Smith has agreed that it’s going to be a location for a post office counter, and we are extremely pleased that the Post Office has recognised how important it is that we have one for the town centre.”
She added: “It will give access to a post office for people who are not able to reach the town’s other great post offices in Hightown or West Heath.
“Having a post office back in the town centre is going to make a big difference to residents and hopefully the shops in town, it’s really good news.”
The new post office within WH Smith will be open Monday-Saturday 9am-5.30pm; Sunday 10am-4pm.