Caistor post office to get £56,000 makeover
A village post office will receive a £56,000 makeover to bring it up-to-date.
The Caistor outlet in Market Place will close at 5.30pm on Wednesday, April 3, as part of the Post Office's three-year programme to upgrade 6,000 outlets.
And when it next opens its doors at 8.30am on Friday, April 12, customers will see it transformed into an open-plan office with new counters, a hearing loop – and extended opening hours.
Sub-postmaster Martin Sizer and his partner Kaye Lee, who took over five years ago, believe that customer loyalty will ensure the branch's success.
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"It's been doom and gloom with the Post Office, with closures and people doing more online," said 54-year-old Mr Sizer. "But for a small rural location we're doing well. And we've also taken on the outreach post office days in nearby villages at Tealby, North Kelsey and a little further afield at Glentham."
Mr Sizer, who is also a Caistor town councillor, praised his customers for their support. "We do more tax discs here than the 2,200 head of population," he said. "And people come in and use us as an old-fashioned bank because they don't want to stand outside and put their card into a machine in the wall."
Caistor Deputy Town Mayor Deborah Barker runs a marketing and PR business from her South Street home around the corner from the post office.
"It's imperative that we keep the service because Martin has risen above all the uncertainty of the past few years," she said. "And the new look post office will be far more welcoming and friendly."
Currently open from 9am until 5.30pm weekdays and until noon Saturdays, the post office will have extended hours of 8.30am to 6pm and until 5.30pm each Saturday.
Adrian Wales is the central England regional network manager for the Post Office.
"We understand how important having a post office is to residents in Caistor," he said.
"And we are confident that this new modern service will meet the needs of the local community and secure services for the future."
West Lindsey MP Edward Leigh, who served as Post Office minister in the Thatcher government, said he was pleased that customers would still be able to access the same products and services.
"Local shops and the pub, together with a post office, form the core of most rural communities," he said.
"Any improvements to the fabric of these important assets is to be welcome. I am particularly pleased that the opening hours at the Caistor Post Office will be extended.
"I am consistently championing our network and got agreement for the DVLA to sell car tax discs through the Post Office last year.
"When I was Post Office Minister I fought to give post offices viable income streams – and it's something which I still strongly believe in today."
During the closure, Caistor residents can use nearby post offices in Brigg, Market Rasen, Keelby and Barnetby.