Post Office could return to Portsoy with application for new branch at advanced stage
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Portsoy could soon have a Post Office again due to high community demand – a year after its only branch closed.
In a letter to the Banff and Buchan MP David Duguid, the Post Office revealed it has received an application to open a counter in the village which is now at an advanced stage of the recruitment process.
It marks a year since its only branch based in Portsoy Ice Cream on Seafield Street closed, having offered postal services for 13 years.
The post office in Portsoy was run by sub-postmaster Jim Smith for 19 years from Culbert Street before moving to the ice cream shop in June 2009.
Since its closure last year, demand has been high for postal services in the village but residents have been forced to travel to Whitehills, Cullen or Portknockie to access a post office.
Mr Duguid, who last year encouraged anyone who was interested in taking over Portsoy’s Post Office to come forward, said: “At a time when rural areas are facing closures and centralisation of local services, it’s fantastic news that Portsoy has bucked the trend and looks set to have a new post office.
“I know residents in Portsoy were extremely upset when they heard their branch would be closing but news that an application is at an advanced stage is excellent for the community.
“Post Offices are often the pillar of communities and provide a lifeline to vulnerable residents who have no access to transport.
“Demand has remained high for a Post Office in Portsoy since it closed last year and this announcement shows the strength of community spirit which exists in the village.
“All going well, I look forward to the new facility becoming a reality which will enable residents to collect or send back parcels, use government services and of course the ever-increasing need for banking services as more banks close.
“I would like to thank the Post Office for sending a member of its field team to visit Portsoy and helping to make this happen as well as the applicant for showing the importance of having facilities like these in the village.”
In its letter to Mr Duguid, the Post Office said: “As you may be aware, the post office in Portsoy closed last year for reasons beyond our control as the postmaster resigned and withdrew the premises for Post Office use.
“Since then, we have been exploring our options for restoring a Post Office to our customers in the area.
“The vacancy in Portsoy was advertised on our website and a member of the field team has also personally visited the area, and so far, we have received one interest and formal application for the position.
"The application we are currently progressing is at an advanced stage of our recruitment process.
“As soon as there are any updates, we will let our customers know by displaying posters locally and writing to local representatives in line with due processes.”