Search continues for Mid Argyll post offices
Lochgilphead and Inveraray appear no closer to getting a new post office than they have been since the first half of 2020.
Inveraray Post Office had been hosted in the town’s Londis shop for a number of years, but closed in April 2020 with the departure of the postmaster, as Londis was replaced by The Tipsy Laird.
In June, the sudden passing of Lochgilphead postmaster Findlay Campbell shocked and saddened the community.
The town was left with no post office, and that shows little sign of changing in the near future.
As a temporary measure, Tarbert Post Office has visited Inveraray and Lochgilphead with a mobile service, as well as providing outreach for Ardrishaig.
Speaking to the Argyllshire Advertiser, a Post Office spokesperson said this week that no ‘permanent solution’ had yet been found for either town, despite the vacancies being advertised online for months.
The spokesperson added: ‘We want to thank the postmaster for Tarbert for providing the mobile post office service in the interim to help maintain service in Lochgilphead and Inveraray.’
The ongoing pandemic is clearly a factor in the failure to identify a host business for these branches – the Post Office said in the autumn that ‘the the effects of coronavirus on retail businesses and the UK high street remains a challenging environment in which to operate’ – but the company has been the subject to criticism for its approach.
In October a Mid Argyll businessman said he had approached the Post Office offering to open up a shop in Inveraray hosting a post office branch.
The company, he claims, responded by seeking £17,000 in set-up costs.
The Post Office responded that it had ‘received some interest for Inveraray’, but a spokesperson added that ‘we cannot commit to funding the set-up costs for every branch’.
Argyll and Bute MSP Michael Russell said: ‘There has been a difficulty in recruitment across the constituency and the Post Office needs to do more to encourage applications.’
If anyone is interested in these and other Post Office vacancies, visit www.runapostoffice.co.uk for more information.