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Walsall Post Office move to go ahead next month

By Jordan Reynolds | Walsall | Business | Published:

Plans to move Walsall's main from its current historic base to a shop inside the town's old BHS building will go ahead month.

Walsall's Post Office in pedestrianised Darwall Street opened in 1928

After a public consultation, the Post Office will move 360 metres from its dedicated building next to the Civic Centre in Darwall Street to inside a new shopping centre at the old BHS on Park Street.

The Post Office will no longer have a self-contained branch but will instead be run as a franchise inside a shop, whose workers will be trained to offer Post Office services.

The identity of the new retail partner has not yet been revealed, but the Post Office says it will offer "convenience, stationery and printing solutions" from a unit in the rear left hand side of the centre.

The Post Office has previously said staff will be able to transfer their employment to the new shop or potentially take voluntary redundancy.

Interactive map shows planned move:

The Post Office said it will be working with the Royal Mail to identify an appropriate place to relocate a war memorial which is inside the current branch.

A spokesman said: "Our war memorials are dedicated to those of our colleagues who worked for the organisation when it was known as the General Post Office (GPO), which included what is now Royal Mail.

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"The war memorial at Walsall Post Office site will be stored safely while we work with Royal Mail to identify the most appropriate place to relocate it.

"Please be reassured that we fully recognise the importance and significance of the war memorial at Walsall Post Office and, once agreed, the relocation will be handled with due and proper care and sensitivity, including a re-dedication ceremony."

And the old building will remain open for the Royal Mail Delivery Office.

A Royal Mail spokesman said: “The Royal Mail Delivery Office will continue to operate from the Darwall Street building, meaning it’s business as usual for customers looking to drop off and retrieve mail items that could not be delivered.”

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The new branch will open at 9am on October 10 and the current Walsall Post Office will close at 5.30pm on October 9.

There will be five serving positions and two self-service kiosks. Services will be available from 9am to 5.30pm, Monday to Saturday amounting to 51 hours of Post Office service a week.

A range of products and services will be available, with the exception of a cash machine, though all Post Offices branches also offer customers access to their usual high street bank account.

The former BHS store in Park Street has been empty since 2016

This means customers in Walsall will be able to deposit and withdraw cash, as well as check their balance, over the counter at the branch, during all the extended opening hours.

Steve Blampied, head of the Post Office’s directly managed branch network, said that the change would help to ensure the branch is commercially viable into the future and therefore protect Post Office services on which customers in the area depend.

He said: “The Post Office is committed to keeping our services at the heart of communities which we know is hugely important to people. This change means we can continue to do that, into the future. We are making sure we take the right action to sustain services for years to come.”

The old BHS, which has been empty since August 2016, is being turned into an indoor shopping centre with around 35 tenants by Retail Multiples (Walsall) who have signed a 20-year lease.

Jordan Reynolds

By Jordan Reynolds
Reporter - @jreynolds_star

Senior reporter at the Express & Star.

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