A beloved post office has re-opened after a major refurbishment, tripling the retail space of the shop.

Beaminster Post Office - inside a Grade II listed building - was re-opened by Beaminster Town Council chairman Cllr Craig Monks, who cut the ribbon to unveil the shop's new look.

The post office has undergone a major transformation in the past 12 months since Steve and Teresa Smith took over at 18 Hogshill Street, Beaminster, DT8 3AA.

Bridport and Lyme Regis News:

The couple negotiated planning permission and consent from English Heritage to adapt the building to improve the layout by removing an internal staircase and an unused suspended ceiling.

Mr and Mrs Smith said: “Customers have been very welcoming. They were impressed with our changes when we first arrived. Then they were excited to hear about our bigger plans. We’ve been working flat out to get the new shop, which is three times the size, open and fully stocked ready for Christmas.

“We kept the closure of the Post Office to a minimum - just a few days as we know how important Post Office services are to this community, including banking, and it is quite a distance to Bridport. Customers are thrilled with the changes. Our big investment shows that we are here for the long term and how committed we are to serving this community.

“I want to say a big thank you to Cllr Craig Monks and to our landlord, Jonathan Stokes, who has been so knowledgeable and supportive in helping us to get the permission for the changes allowing us to have plenty of space for retail alongside our Post Office.”

Bridport and Lyme Regis News:

Alterations to the building were done behind hoarding.

The whole shop closed from Wednesday, November 15 to complete the refit and new layout, new lighting, flooring, counters and display stands. The shop is now fully opened and stocked for Christmas.

The range of cards and stationery has greatly increased, including a range of cards and artwork by local artists. 

Bridport and Lyme Regis News: Steve and Teresa also own Crewkerne Post Office at the Dailyztech store. At Beaminster, there is now a wide variety of IT gadgets and equipment and mobile phone accessories.

Crucially there is also more space for storage of incoming and outgoing parcels for Post Office customers. This is important with the growing amount of parcels being sent, home shopping returns and click-and-collect parcels.

Bridport and Lyme Regis News: Stage one of modernising Beaminster Post Office involved removing old-style full-screened Post Office counters and replacing them with two new modern counters and signage with new lighting.

Read more: Beaminster's new post office officially opened by MP

Zoe Sprackling, Post Office Business Support Manager, said: “Steve and Teresa have done an amazing job in Beaminster. Their customer service is first class and the huge amount of improvements that they have made to the Post Office and shop is impressive."

A ramp and handrail have been installed internally to blend the two shop levels.

Early next year work will be done to provide level access to the shop.