CLOSURE: Mansfield Post Office WILL be moving
Mansfield's Crown Post Office will be closing to move into the Four Seasons shopping centre, we can confirm.
The news follows the announcement that 37 main post offices in the country are to close, and calls from the public to keep it open.
Mansfield's office will be moved inside the WHSmith store in the shopping centre off West Gate, where it will be operated with the same branch team.
A Post Office spokeswoman said: "We will be working with WHSmith to make sure the new branch is accessible for all our customers including elderly and disabled customers.
"The new branch will have its own designated area at the rear of the store and customer access both into and within the store will meet our stringent accessibility standards and all applicable legislation."
The plan was subject to a six-week public consultation, and the last day of service at the Church Street branch will be on March 8, with the new branch opening on March 9.
Our online poll showed only 34 per cent supported the relocation of the branch.
Post Office workers staged five days of strike action over Christmas against the cuts to wages and branch closures - this closure of the Mansfield branch means that in Nottinghamshire there will only be one Crown Post Office - the largest kind usually found on high streets in large towns - the Nottingham City branch.
Roger Gale, Post Office’s Sales and Trade Marketing Director, said that the change would help to ensure the branch is commercially viable into the future and therefore protect Post Office services on which customers in Mansfield depend.
He said: “Our customers’ needs continue to change and we are responding to that, taking the right action to sustain our services for years to come. We are committed to remaining on high streets and at the heart of communities and we are making changes right across our network to enable us to do so."
The Post Office counter will be built to Post Office specifications and will include lighting to industry standards, low level counters, PIN pads and hearing loops. There will be space for people to wait for service and customer seating will also be provided.
A war memorial is located in Mansfield Post Office branch dedicated to colleagues who worked for the organisation when it was known as the General Post Office (GPO), which included what is now Royal Mail. We are working with Royal Mail to identify the most appropriate place to relocate the memorial so that members of the public can continue to pay their respects to those of our colleagues who sacrificed their lives. The relocation will include a re-dedication ceremony.The same wide range of Post Office services will continue to be available with the exception of a cash machine. It is our intention to install an external cash machine but this currently remains subject to survey by our cash machine provider, operational considerations and relevant consent and planning permission.
Mansfield executive mayor, Kate Allsop, also previously criticised the plan, fearing it could damage trade in the area.
She said: “The White Hart Street and Church Street area is a vital part of the town centre with many independent retailers who rely on footfall.
“The current location of the post office helps to maintain footfall in this area and supports those local retailers."
"The current post office building is a focal point for the White Hart Street area of town and we would not want to see such a large property become derelict.”