By Roz Scott
It will be open for business seven days a week – from 9am until 7pm Monday to Saturday and from 9am to 1pm on Sundays. This is an increase in opening times of 18 hours per week.
The store will close at 5.30pm on Tuesday 23 February for refurbishments. Customers are being advised to use post offices at 148 Preston Drove and 6 Lewes Road while the Hollingdean Post Office is redecorated.
Keith Long, Post Office area manager, said: “We are confident this vibrant new-style post office at the heart of the local community will meet customer needs. This modernisation is part of a major investment programme, the largest in the history of the Post Office and will secure services for the future. The investment marks a commitment to no more branch closure programmes.”
Once open again, the Hollingdean Post Office in Hollingbury Place will offer a wide range of services including special delivery, home collect, shopping returns, online cash deposits and withdrawals, moneygram services to send money abroad, travel insurance, mobile phone top-ups and post office accounts.
Hollingdean councillor Tracey Hill welcomed the proposal and said: “The Post Office wrote to me as a local councillor back in October with details of the changes they were planning. This suggested that no services would be lost and the hours would be extended.
“While the transitional arrangements will probably cause some inconvenience and the new layout might take some getting used to, the letter did say that the Post Office would continue to ask for and respond to customer feedback even after the changes have taken place.”
In November 2013 the government announced a further £640 million investment in the Post Office network which enabled it to modernise a further 2,000 branches. This included an investment of £20 million in around 3,400 community branches. These branches are often the last shop in the village.
With over 11,500 branches, the Post Office network is the biggest retail network in the UK, with more branches than all the banks and building societies combined. The vast majority of branches, 97 per cent of the Post Office network, are run with retail partners on an agency or franchise basis.
More than 99 per cent of the population live within three miles of a post office and 17 million customers visit a post office branch each week, including a third of the UK’s small businesses.
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