Wednesday, 09 March 2016 11:32

Council backs rural post offices

Written by  Ruralcity Media

Hampshire County Council has voiced continued support for rural post offices.

Some 50 delegates from community and privately run organisations attended a Hampshire Village Shops Network Conference on Monday (8 March).

Rob Humby, the council's's rural affairs champion, used the event to reiterate the importance of rural post offices.

The conference was also attended by Post Office representatives.

Councillor Humby said: "Post Offices are an integral part of everyday life for those living and working in rural communities in Hampshire."

He added: "The County Council is committed to helping keep Hampshire's rural communities vibrant and thriving."

Hampshire had a good track record of working closely with village shops through grants, business advice and support, said councillor Humby.

"We are keen to work with the Post Office to see how we can ensure, together, that this vital part of rural life remains strong and financially sustainable."

A "Village Pantry" at Braishfield enables local residents who can enjoy meet and socialise in the café as well as buying locally sourced produce.

Beginning as a pilot in July 2014, the Village Pantry has become a well-established and popular community hub.

The conference also included discussion sessions on community shops (Plunkett Foundation) and ways of using digital marketing to grow a business.

THe Rural Shops Alliance gave a presentation on ways village retailers can improve layouts and use of space.

Councillor Humby said the Village Pantry was a brilliant example of how a facility can support and enhance rural ways of life.

At the same time, it could support and boost economic prosperity in the county's rural communities.

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