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Achnasheen Post Office saved from the axe as alternative Ross-shire postmaster steps forward

By Philip Murray

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Achnasheen's Post Office facilities will reopen next week (June 15).
Achnasheen's Post Office facilities will reopen next week (June 15).

A VITAL Post Office has been handed a last minute reprieve from the axe after a new postmaster was found to run it.

Achnasheen's Post Office facilities had been mothballed since the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic last year. Prior to that the village hall played host to an outreach service, with Post Office services operating one day a week for two hours.

And when lockdown began to ease local residents had been hoping to see the facility return to use – only for it to emerge that the Kinlochewe postmaster, who had previously run the service, was no longer able to do so.

It left the future of the Achnasheen Post Office in the balance – and also sparked fears for the viability of the village hall, which relied on the hire fees it earned to cover almost two-thirds of its running costs.

However, fears that both the Post Office and village hall might be lost have eased, after the UK business found an alternative postmaster.

The outreach service, which will continue to be run in the village hall, will now be operated by the postmaster at Lochcarron, Hilary Rooke.

And, not only that, but the facility will be back in action as soon as next week.

David Duff, Post Office network provision lead, said: “We are delighted to be restoring Post Office services to Achnasheen as we know how important Post Office services are to a community.

"We want to thank the postmaster for Kinlochewe who has provided this outreach service in the past and we are really delighted that the postmaster for Lochcarron can re-open the service and we greatly appreciate Hilary Rooke for taking on this additional outreach service.”

The restored Achnasheen Post Office service will run in the village hall, as before, but will now operate slightly different hours.

It will restart on Tuesday, and will be open from 2.30pm to 4.30pm, which is slightly later than before.

Related news: Ross-shire village fears for future of hall as plug pulled on post office service

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