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Stradbroke: Village’s quirky idea to incorporate post office inside library

PUBLISHED: 10:28 19 February 2014 | UPDATED: 10:29 19 February 2014

Residents in Stradbroke will have access to a post office again when it is based at the village's library. Pictured is Lavenham's post office.

Residents in Stradbroke will have access to a post office again when it is based at the village's library. Pictured is Lavenham's post office.

A Suffolk village will soon have a post office again after Suffolk Libraries’ application to provide a new facility in Stradbroke Library was approved.

The application was approved last week by Post Office Ltd after it interviewed representatives from Suffolk Libraries. Suffolk Libraries has been working in partnership on this project with the Stradbroke Courthouse and Library Trust – the library’s ‘Friends’ group.

The new post office will provide 150 recognised facilities including cash withdrawals, foreign currency and handling parcels.

Suffolk Libraries staff will run the post office along with the library in the same space. It will be a few months before the post office opens as some work needs to be carried out to install a counter and other equipment. Staff will also undergo the necessary training.

Suffolk Libraries will be receiving some additional income to provide the service with current Library manager Maureen John taking on joint responsibility for the post office.

If the post office is a success and becomes busy enough, more staff may be taken on in the future.

James Hargrave, resident and member of the Courthouse and Library Trust, has been involved in the application and interview process.

He said: “This is good news for Stradbroke as we’ve been without a post office for about 18 months and we’ve had nowhere to withdraw cash for some time too. This project will enable us to provide a shared facility within the library and whilst helping to support the running of the library it will also hopefully bring in more customers too.”

Stradbroke Courthouse and Library Trust also has further plans to develop the building by providing a café, studio space for a community radio station and storage for a village archive.

Suffolk Libraries is an independent Industrial & Provident Society which has now been running the library service in Suffolk for 18 months.

The post office project in Suffolk is an example of the kind of projects which are being explored to ensure libraries are at the heart of their community, Mr Hargrave said.

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