Chorley set for special delivery of a temporary post office in the town centre

A temporary post office could soon be set up in Chorley town centre after plans for a permanent facility appeared to get lost in transit.

Wednesday, 17th February 2021, 6:02 pm
Updated Wednesday, 17th February 2021, 7:55 pm

The Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS) understands that several vacant premises are currently being considered to house a “pod” branch, to be set up as a short-term replacement for the service that was previously delivered from within WH Smith on Market Street.

When that outlet closed more than a month ago, the Post Office said that it intended to open a new branch in the former Greenwoods store on Chapel Street.

However, as the LDRS revealed earlier this month, there appeared to have been little progress in converting the unit - and a “To Let” sign remains outside, suggesting that any arrangement has fallen through.

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The post office in Chorley town centre pulled down the blinds for the final time when the WH Smith store in which it was based closed down in mid-January

It is understood that the proposed pre-pack-style temporary facility can be established quickly, requiring far less work than to convert a shop unit from scratch.

Chorley MP Sir Lindsay Hoyle said that he had been lobbying for counter services to be reinstated in the town centre as soon as possible.

“Since the disappointing closure of the branch in WH Smith, I have been in regular contact with the Post Office pushing for a replacement to be provided.

“Despite guarantees that an alternative venue had been found, we are still left without any town centre provision and I have contacted the Post Office again to press for immediate action.

It looks as though plans to open a new post office in the former Greenwoods store on Chapel Street have been abandoned

“We’re now seeing the Post Office look to find a temporary facility which means people can access Post Office services as usual, whilst negotiations continue over a permanent location.

“I believe the Post Office are now in discussions with the council to find a suitable venue for the temporary unit - and I look forward to this being opened as a matter of urgency,” Sir Lindsay added.

Chorley Council’s deputy leader Peter Wilson said it was “unfortunate” that the town centre remained without a Post Office service.

“We are currently providing assistance to the Post Office in setting up a temporary solution, which we anticipate will be up and running very soon.

“It is important that residents are able to access a town centre service and this should really help while the Post Office works on getting a more permanent solution operational,” said Cllr Wilson, who added the council would provide updates as soon as it could.

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the Post Office said: “We are still working hard to restore Post Office services to Chorley as soon as possible. We apologise for any inconvenience caused by the temporary closure, as we know how important a Post Office is to a community.”

Alternative branches can be found at Devonshire Road, Bagganley (Eaves Lane) and Highways (Talbot Road, Euxton).