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December 14, 2011

The value of a post office

The prospect of losing the local post office is often one of the things that spurs a community into action. Somehow the post office represents much more than just a collection of services – it’s a familiar point of local contact, often for some of the most vulnerable, and to lose it in some way symbolises a community’s diminishing capacity. This might explain why the community in Bridge of Weir have gone to such lengths to save theirs.


Alison Rennie, Paisley Daily Express

CAMPAIGNING villagers are celebrating after being told they are to get a new post office to replace the one which closed this summer.

Bridge of Weir Post Office shut its doors in June but bosses are now teaming up with community group, The Bridge, to open a new service in the village’s former library.

As well as the post office, the group also hopes to include a Fairtrade shop, DVD and record exchange and community meeting space inside the old library building, in Main Street.

Philip McCulloch, of The Bridge committee, said: “Everyone will be delighted to have the Post Office back in the village.

“Our project is going really well. We’ve had a great response from the village to our appeal for volunteers and now have 111 people signed up.

“We’ve done work to tidy up the gardens outside the building, so it’s looking a lot more welcoming now.”

The new post office will open on Monday, November 28, and it is hoped that three part-time jobs will be created.

Robert Findlay, from Post Office Ltd, said: “Our priority is to safeguard access to services in the longer term in Bridge of Weir.

“The establishment of this service with our proposed partner in Bridge of Weir presents the best possible solution to allow us to maintain a post office service in this area.

“This will provide many of the popular post office services that customers want on a regular basis.”

Bridge of Weir Library was closed earlier this year, with services being moved to the nearby Cargill Hall.

Generous villagers then dug deep to raise the £20,000 The Bridge needed to take over the building and bring back the post office.

Bosses at Post Office Ltd have stressed that the new service will be run for a year-long trial, with an assessment being made after 12 months to make sure it is meeting the needs of the community and is viable in the long term.

They have warned that the success of the new post office is reliant on customers using it on a regular basis.

A number of services will be available, including benefits payments, bill and budget payment schemes, postal orders and postage, international letters and packages and ordinary mail postage.

The post office will be opening six days a week – from 9am till 5pm on Mondays, from 1pm till 5pm on Tuesdays and Fridays, from 10am till 2pm on Wednesdays and Thursdays and from 9am till 1pm on Saturdays.

Post Office bosses are looking for feedback on the new facility and will be running a consultation until Tuesday, December 13.

They want to hear from residents who have any concerns over access and facilities at the new location, opening hours or issues specific to Bridge of Weir.