Ardglass Post Office Proposal Welcomed By South Down MP Margaret Ritchie

South Down MP Margaret Ritchie and Councillor Dermot Curran have given their stamp of approval to the Ardglass Post Office modernisation plans.

Under the plans which hope to be completed by March 2016. Customers will be able to do their Post Office business from 7am to 7.30pm, seven days a week.

These services will be offered from a low-screened, open-plan style service point, integrated into the retail counter. Also important, especially given the recent closure of the Ulster Bank branch in Ardglass, customers will be able to have their personal and business banking needs met at the branch.

[caption id="attachment_60115" align="aligncenter" width="540"]Mark Gibson, Post Office Public Affairs Manager, with xx, counter assistant,  Bronagh Hynds, Ardglass, Post Office operator, South Down MP Margaret Ritchie and Newry Mourne and Down District Councillor Dermot Curran. Mark Gibson, Post Office Public Affairs Manager, with Caoilfionn Smith, counter assistant; Bronagh Hynds, Ardglass, Post Office operator; South Down MP Margaret Ritchie and Newry Mourne and Down District Councillor, Dermot Curran.[/caption]

Ms Ritchie said: “I am delighted that Ardglass Post Office will benefit from improvements from March 2016. This will create a more modern and convenient experience for customers that will include longer opening hours, as well as more extended banking services.

“The Post Office is an essential service for customers, and I am pleased that steps are being taken to keep improving the local branches whilst maintaining existing services and products. I hope that more and more customers will be able to avail of these improved services.”

Cllr Curran added: “I was pleased to discover that the Post Office will not only be remaining but improving. It was also comforting to see that it will continue to provide the vital services this community so desperately needs. Communities such as Ardglass depend on the Post Office to provide a wide range of services, particularly given the recent bank branch closures.”

Ardglass Post Office operator Bronach Hynds said: “I was delighted to have the opportunity to modernise the Post Office branch. I hope our customers like their new Post Office when it opens in March. I’d like to thank Margret and Dermot for taking time from her busy schedule to come here today. I’d also like to thank the local community for their continued support and use of the branch.”

And Mark Gibson, Post Office Public Affairs Manager, commented: “We understand how important having a Post Office is to residents in Ardglass and I am confident that this new modern Post Office will meet the needs of the local community and secure services for the future.

“This modernisation is part of a major investment programme, the largest in the history of the Post Office and marks a commitment to no more branch closures programmes.”

(In 2012 we announced an investment of £1.34bn for the Post Office network to undertake a transformation programme across 6000 branches.   In November 2013 the Government announced a further £640m investment in the Post Office network: as well as allowing us to modernise a further 2000 branches this funding also allows us to invest £20 million in around 3400 community branches, which are often the last shop in the village.)