By Claire West
Business Secretary Vince Cable today visited Darnall post office in Sheffield, which reopened last week thanks to the efforts of the local community.
Community organisation Darnall Forum, a registered charity, stepped in to reopen the branch in new premises, just over a year after its previous operator left.
Vince Cable said:
“Darnall post office is one of the first in the UK to be run by a charity - it is an excellent initiative. The community campaigned long and hard to get their post office back, and I’m delighted that has now been achieved.
“It has involved a lot of hard work from a lot of different people and shows what can happen when politicians, local authorities, the voluntary sector and the community work together.
“I’m clear that the rest of the UK can learn lessons from what has happened here in Sheffield. This can be a model for other communities and charities.
“Post Offices continue to play a vital social role in the heart of local communities and remain an incredibly important resource. I’m going to do everything in my power to support them.”
In January this year the Forum announced plans to reopen the branch and drew up a business plan to run the post office as a social enterprise, meaning any profits could be ploughed back into the community.
Sheffield Council's East Community Assembly then awarded the Forum up to £10,000 towards the start-up cost of opening the business. Darnall Forum also raised an additional £40,000 for the project by applying for a loan from the Yorkshire Key Fund.