Shoppers promised Post Office branch will return to busy Northampton neighbourhood following sudden closure

Plans to relocate hit by legal snag after Martin’s store shuts for good

Wednesday, 4th May 2022, 1:46 pm
Updated Wednesday, 4th May 2022, 6:37 pm

Kingsthorpe locals have been promised they will get their Post Office back after the sudden closure of Martin's in the neighbourhood centre.

But no time frame has been put on when the new counter will be able to open.

Customers had no warning of the closure and many were left puzzled after the Martin’s store — which includes the Post Office — remained shuttered since it closed on Monday (April 25).

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Martin's store in Kingsthorpe, Northampton, shut down — taking the local Post Office with it

But a spokesman for the Post Office said on Wednesday (May 5): “The branch had been due to open at a new location nearby.

"Due to unforeseen circumstances relating to the lease of the building, the branch has not been able to re-open at the new location.

"We hope it will be able to open soon.”

The sudden closure will particularly hit those who have relied on Post Offices since closure of of the last of the High Street bank branches in the Northampton suburb in December 2020.

They will need to travel to alternative Post Offices in other parts of Northampton — Whitehills, Kings Heath, Dallington and Kingsley Park — or banks in the town centre.

A spokesperson for the McColl’s group of convenience stores, which owns Martin’s, said: “Having explored all options, regretfully we have taken the difficult decision to cease trading at the store.

"We are saddened to no longer be operating the store and our priority has been to support all affected colleagues.”

Barclays, NatWest, HSBC and Lloyds have cut High Street locations by half since 2015 according to consumer group Which? but assured customers they can use local Post Offices for in-branch banking services.

A deal to allow bank customers to carry on using the Post Office was renewed earlier this year and described as a “lifeline” for the millions of people — mostly more vulnerable, older or on very low incomes — and small businesses that rely on cash.

And Which? has joined other consumer groups and charities calling on the government to legislate soon and protect those who rely on access to face-to-face banking and cash from the risk of “being cut adrift.”

McColl's is the largest operator for the Post Office with around 600 locations nationwide.

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