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New post office lifeline for remote village

PUBLISHED: 16:34 12 August 2019

The staff team at the Costcutter supermarket, Acton, which is getting a sub post office. Rajah Thushenthra, Mici Mukunthan with Rashaani, and Nicki Addison. Picture: DAVID VINCENT

The staff team at the Costcutter supermarket, Acton, which is getting a sub post office. Rajah Thushenthra, Mici Mukunthan with Rashaani, and Nicki Addison. Picture: DAVID VINCENT

David Vincent

A village which lost its old post office when it closed more than 10 years ago has been given a lifeline - after a new one opened inside a supermarket.

After more than 11 years without a post office, a new post office counter is opening in the family-owned Costcutter village store at Acton near Sudbury. Picture: DAVID VINCENTAfter more than 11 years without a post office, a new post office counter is opening in the family-owned Costcutter village store at Acton near Sudbury. Picture: DAVID VINCENT

The post office in Acton, near Sudbury was axed in a nationwide campaign of closures in 2008, forcing customers to go to other branches.

However now, after the village's 4,200 days without a post office, Muku Mukunthan is opening a sub post office in his Costcutter supermarket, in the High Street, with a ceremony at 1pm on Wednesday, August 14.

It is a reversal of the trend which has seen many rural shops and post offices close - but Mr Mukunthan says it has been welcomed by people in Acton, which has a population of approximately 2,000.

Mr Mukunthan said: "We are really looking forward to it. We will offer a wide range of post offices services, paying bills, pensions, post and travel money, but not DVLA and passports.

"We always try and do what the people in the village want. They have welcomed it on the Facebook page."

It would be open the same hours as the shop, seven days a week.

Mr Mukunthan opened the Costcutter in the former Bob's Stores in June 2014. It has taken two years to get the permission to open the sub post office.

They closed the store for refurbishment and extension, re-opening in January 2016 with a much larger range of goods, similar to an urban supermarket.

He said: "It was double in size. We invested a lot of money in it, almost £200,000.

"There is now chilled food, fruit and veg, frozen food and the off licence. We try and offer whatever people want."

He added: "We liked the location when we came around," he said. "It is a nice village, quiet and peaceful, and the people are friendly."

Mr Mukunthan, who is originally from Sri Lanka, and wife Yaja now have two children, a daughter and son.

They are assisted in the business by his brother Mici.

"You have to work hard to make a success," he added. "You have to put money in too, to make money."

The arrival of the post office was welcomed by parish council chairman Peter Chaplin.

He said: "I think it is a very good idea.

"People won't have to leave the village for post office services."

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