A MUCH-NEEDED post office could return to a Malvern village as soon as next year after a campaign to bring the ‘essential service’ back to the community gathers pace.
Lower Broadheath has been left without a post office for five months after the store on Martley Road closed its doors in May.
This meant villagers had to travel to Worcester city centre or the Moseley Turn in Hallow for a postal service.
A mobile post office was put in place last month on the car park at The Bell Inn on Martley Road but that only operates for three hours a week.
With vital services severely limited, a committee was formed so work could begin on trying to open a new village post office and convenience store.
The Lower Broadheath Community Shop, as it would be called, would be located at a site near The Bell Inn and is expected to open in Spring 2018.
By working with The Plunkett Foundation – the group which helps rural communities to take control of the issues affecting them through community ownership – the committee had been able to put together a business plan for the project which is expected to cost between £65,000 and £70,000.
Mark Glossop, chairman of the community shop committee, said: “Almost half of the households in the village responded to our survey with more than 90 per cent of those regarding the efforts to launch a new village shop as either ‘important’ or ‘very important’.
“This is particularly true for the older members of the community and for those who do not have access to their own transport.”
Coun Douglas Godwin, district councillor for Broadheath ward, told the Observer a village store was desperately needed and that he and fellow ward representative Coun David Chambers had been actively supporting the project.
“It is great to see the community working together because Lower Broadheath needs this kind of essential service,” he added.
A planning application for the shop is currently being finalised and a share offer document will be made available to any interested parties at the start of next year.
The committee is also looking for volunteers and volunteer leaders to help with promotion, organising fund-raising events and for the day-to-day running of the shop.
The next village meeting will be on November 15 at 8pm in Lower Broadheath Village Hall.
Visit www.lowerbroadheathshop.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org for further information on how to donate and get involved.