NEW owners of a modernised Hayling Island post office united to celebrate its official relaunch.
Kanchan and Manish Thakur declared the Eastoke Post Office open for business at a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday.
The branch was closed to the public last year while it underwent much-needed refurbishment work.
Now under new management, the team behind its revival say early consumer feedback has been positive.
Mrs Thakur said: ‘Customers are very pleased with the improvements that we have made, including longer hours.
‘They are also delighted that we kept a popular and highly experienced member of Post Office staff who already worked at the branch.’
In taking on the post office – which doubles up as a convenience store – Mr and Mrs Thakur are embarking on a new line of work.
The pair previously enjoyed successful careers in business development and the merchant navy.
Marking their efforts and the Rails Lane branch’s opening, Havant MP Alan Mak cut the ribbon at Friday’s event.
The ceremony was even attended by Mr Thakur’s mother, Saroj, who journeyed from India to join celebrations.
Mr Mak said: ‘The residents of Eastoke and tourists will all benefit from the improvements to this post office with longer opening hours and a new modern, welcoming layout.
‘Mr and Mrs Thakur are an enthusiastic, hardworking couple and I wish them well with their Post Office and store.’
As part of its facelift, Eastoke Post Office has ditched its dated full-screened counters and installed lower displays.
It has also increased its former opening times, enabling customers to benefit from an extra 14-and-a-half hours of service each week.
Consumers can make use of an enhanced range of products at the branch, including manual banking, Transcash and Royal Mail and Parcelforce International Services.
Andrew Masson, Post Office area manager, said: ‘We are making it easier for customers to get their cash, send and collect their mail and do their banking because we know how important these services are to local residents.
‘We are confident that this vibrant new-style Post Office at the heart of the local community will meet customer needs.
‘This modernisation is part of a major investment programme – the largest in the history of the Post Office – and will secure services for the future.’
Eastoke Post Office is open from 9am until 7pm from Monday to Friday and 9am until 5pm on Saturdays.
To learn more about the services Post Office offers, visit postoffice.co.uk – or to run your own – go to runapostoffice.co.uk.