Invergordon Post Office closure sparks concern as efforts to secure new premises continue
AN Easter Ross town witnessing a record-breaking influx of visitors from around the world has – temporarily, at least – lost its post office having already witnessed the closure of its last bank.
Invergordon, which this week reported booming business in its role as a gateway to the Highlands for almost 200,000 cruise line passengers, is nevertheless this week being hit by a triple whammy of High Street closures.
The town's post office closed for business last week along with the Spar store in which it is located.
A Subway franchise within the same High Street building dished out its last sandwich on Tuesday.
The loss of the post office has set alarm bells ringing locally with fears of the knock-on impact that will have if a replacement isn't found.
Former community councillor Margaret Macpherson said: "There are many people now who rely on the post office to collect their pensions. Not everyone has access to their own transport so being forced to go to the nearest branches at Alness or Kildary makes life really difficult for them. It is a blow."
Marie Clarke of the Invergordon Development Trust said it was a misconception that only older people are affected by post office closures. She said: "Many people rely on it for things like parcel returns from online shopping. And with no local bank, the post office is also important for people using it to pay in money. I've heard of one alternative proposal for a branch and there may even be two. Hopefully we won't see the service disappear for too long."
Local councillor Maxine Smith said: "If the building remains empty there’s still scope for a new franchise owner for a post office. It is also now common practice for post offices to locate in supermarkets and with the imminent building of a new Co-op on the site of the former bone mill, this could well be under consideration."
Easter Ross MP Jamie Stone earlier decried the "dreary succession" of post office closures and said the prospect of Invergordon losing its branch was "seriously bad news". He said: "The government should catch a grip and realise that we have a real problem."
A Post Office spokesman said: "I can confirm the branch will close temporarily on Thursday, October 3 at 5:30pm. We are committed to providing services in the area and we are working hard to restore services as soon as possible. This includes both a possible temporary and a permanent solution, but at this stage I am unable to confirm further details."
Following the closure, the nearest branches are Alness Post Office on High Street and Kildary Post Office at Kens Garage.