Key amenities could return to Stradbroke

Stradbroke, Suffolk. Stradbroke Library
Stradbroke, Suffolk. Stradbroke Library

A post office and village shop could be returning to Stradbroke in the coming months.

The village has been without a Post Office since July 2012, while the Spar shop, in Church Street, closed its doors during September last year.

The nearest Post Office to the village is two miles in Horham, while the closest convenience store is more than four miles away in Laxfield. However, following talks between the Stradbroke Courthouse and Library Trust (SCALT) and Suffolk Libraries, an application has been made to run a Post Office Local counter alongside the library service, with hopes of opening in the coming months.

An open meeting was also held in December with a representative of Blakemore Foods, which owns the lease on the Spar store, saying they are hopeful prospective new tenants could have the shop open by March.

The potential new Post Office would be open at the same time as the library, although these hours could be changed or extended. People would have access to almost all of the services the old Post Office used to offer, with the exception of car tax.

Certain changes required for the library building would be paid for by the Post Office, while Suffolk Library would also pay for some changes to accommodate a new counter.

James Hargrave, Stradbroke Parish Councillor and SCALT trustee said: “It means you have to go outside village to pretty much do anything like post a letter or something straightforward.

“There is also nowhere to get cash out so it is a major inconvenience. We are optimistic that the bid will be successful.”

Speaking on the potential new Spar, he added: “The shop is a major loss at the moment. It makes it quite hard work to live in Stradbroke.”