PEOPLE in Yetminster are set to get their Post Office back.
The village has been limited to a weekly two-hour mobile service since the Post Office closed in September 2011 following a dispute between former postmistress Tracey Merritt and Post Office Ltd.
Villagers spotted a sign in the empty premises at Sunnyside Court last week stating that a new shop was due to open, and SPAR has confirmed that a village store and Post Office will be operating from the building next year.
The business will be run by husband and wife team Tony and Karen Read. The couple, who live in nearby Thornford, will be refurbishing the premises and plan to open in late January.
Tony has worked in the food retail business for the last 40 years, having been involved in store management for Tesco, the Co-op and Somerfield. For the last three years, he worked for SPAR's regional distribution company Appleby Westward as head of sales for the company's east region.
"We have lived in our Thornford home for the last 24 years and therefore know the area very well. When the opportunity came along to acquire the village shop in Yetminster, we decided to snap it up as it offers such a lot of potential," Tony said.
"We aim to provide a modern convenience store with Post Office services that will fully serve the needs of the local population and be at the very heart of this lovely rural community."
The development work will be a co-investment project between Tony and Appleby Westward, and he and Karen will be seeking to employ two local part-time staff to help with the running of the store.
"It will be a classic local village store, and Karen and I are very excited about this new challenge and chapter in our lives," Tony added.