A POST office and village shop in Hampshire are set to re-open at the end of this month after the community rallied together to save them from closure.

The village store and post office in Hursley will once again come under one roof and will re-open on June 30, following a a £25,000 revamp.

As previously reported, the owner had announced last May that he intended to close the shop.

The shop was relocated to the nearby Dolphin pub while the post office was closed in September.

However, the community stepped in, setting up the Hursley Community Shop Association Ltd (HCSA) and raising more than £100,000 to buy premises and businesses in December 2018.

Now Cllr Edward Heron, executive member for countryside and rural affairs at Hampshire County Council (HCC), has granted HCSA £11,000 to complete the refurbishment.

Once complete, the group will hold an official opening ceremony on June 30, with both the post office and the shop re-opening to the public from July 1.

David Killeen, a member of HCSA, said: “It’s very exciting at the moment. Work is continuing and we are optimistic.”

He said after the decision to close the shop and the post office was announced, residents decided to become shareholders and raised money to save the premises.

“There are elderly people who still rely on the post office and everybody thought it was very important. It provides a  place for people to go and have a chat. It forms a much more positive centre of community spirit and togetherness,” he added. 

County councillor and former city councillor Jan Warwick was one of those who campaigned to save the premises.

She said: “The purchase and continued running of the Hursley village community shop demonstrates the fund raising commitment of the local community and the efforts of local volunteers.

“I was pleased to be able to contribute towards essential equipment from my county councillor grant and we are very grateful for the significant financial support from Hampshire County Council’s rural grant programme and DEFRA’s Fieldfare grant.

Cllr Warwick added: “Both grants have made an essential contribution towards the cost of refurbishment and the imminent re-opening of the post office and village shop”.

The official opening ceremony on June 30 will start at noon and refreshment will also be provided.

Commenting on the HCC grant, approved last week, Cllr Heron said: “I am particularly pleased with the good uptake of the Parish and Town Council Investment Fund, and the Rural Communities Fund.

“These funds provide communities with the financial means, in tandem with their own resources, to develop new and innovative ways of working, address local needs, and build their resilience.

“Priority will be given to projects that directly support pressures in key service areas, and to initiatives that draw in partnerships and resources in a sustainable manner.”