AN EXPERIENCED postmaster has officially opened a brand new Post Office branch in Andover.

Punit Patel, who runs the One Stop shop on Weyhill Road, has restored the Post Office service to the community after the previous McColls branch closed last year.

Punit and his wife Ketki have run the convenience store since 2004. Originally, it was a Nisa store, then last year they undertook a £150,000 refit to fully modernise the store and to make it into a One Stop store selling Tesco products.

When customers heard that the previous Weyhill Road Post Office was closing, they asked Punit if we would take it on.

READ MORE: Weyhill Road post office and McColls supermarket closed

Punit, who has been the postmaster for Ludgershall for nearly seven years, successfully applied for his second branch.

A Post Office counter is available now alongside the retail counter, with the team officially cutting the ribbon on Thursday morning (April 14).

Punit Patel said: “People are really delighted to have a Post Office in my shop. People really missed having a Post Office in this area of Andover and have had to travel further. It’s on the main road in Andover and we have a customer car park, plus roadside parking nearby.

“Customers are impressed with the new-look shop after the store had a major refit and became a One Stop store – turnover has doubled as they like the Tesco products and the modern new look. Having the Post Office will also attract new customers and it is very convenient for the local residents and businesses. It has worked out brilliantly.”

READ MORE: Weyhill Road Post Office: New counter to open in April at One Stop after previous operator resigned

The Patels are very community-minded. During the pandemic they did fundraising and donated £1,000 of food to the Army Veterans charity and to the Andover Foodbank.

Antoinette Chitty, Post Office network provision lead, said: “We are delighted to have restored Post Office service as we know how important a Post Office is to a community. The long opening hours are very handy.

“This couple are popular as they run a great shop and they like to support the community.”

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