A VILLAGE post office is due to re-open early next month, based at a popular pub.

From Monday, February 4, Lower Broadheath will be getting Post Office services six days a week with the introduction of new counters inside its community shop.

The village is currently visited by a mobile post office on Monday mornings, following the closure of the village shop last year.

But now the Post Office will be opening counters at the shop at the Bell Inn, Marley Road.

Opening hours will be Monday to Friday, 10am to 3pm, and Saturday, 10am to noon, a total of 27 hours a week.

A wide range of post office services will be offered, along with banking services for personal customers and small businesses.

Harriett Baldwin MP, who supported the villagers’ campaign, said: “I have been working closely with the Post Office management to ensure that a post office service remains in the village and Lower Broadheath has been accessing a mobile service ever since the closure. I also have been in close contact with the volunteer group since it was first formed and I am so pleased that the community has pulled together to re-open the village store – together with its vital Post Office services.

“I am grateful for the efforts of every volunteer who has worked to get to this point and the many people who will donate their time and energies to making this community-run store a reality.

“I look forward to popping in as soon as it opens and I will keep in close contact with both the Post Office team and the volunteers as it welcomes customers back to Lower Broadheath.”

Richard Hall, Post Office public affairs manager, said: “We are delighted that Post Offices services are to be restored to the community in Lower Broadheath.

“Everyone involved should be immensely proud of the innovation and determination that has delivered the new community shop and Post Office to Lower Broadheath and the surrounding areas. “

The Broadheath Stores, which was just opposite the Bell Inn, closed in May last year following the retirement of the business owner Colin Barrett, who had run the shop since 1999.

Mr Barrett, who had had the business on the market for seven years up until its closure, said that the closure of independent stores could be blamed on increased red tape, on-line shopping and competition from supermarkets.