Friday, 24 September 2021

Doubt over future of post office with lease for sale

THE future of Henley’s post office shop is uncertain with the lease being advertised for sale.

THE future of Henley’s post office shop is uncertain with the lease being advertised for sale.

The shop in Reading Road is being marketed by Reading chartered surveyors Dunster & Morton as the lease is due to expire at the end of the year.

The business, which sells stationery, newspapers and magazines, also has a post office counter at the back of the 1,365 sq ft shop floor.

The Post Office insists that it wants to keep an outlet in the town and is looking for a “successful retailer” to take on the work as part of an existing or proposed business.

It says it wants an “attractive and substantial” retail operation with a dedicated post office area and a “community focused” individual. Post Office investment would be in the region of £20,000 to £50,000 on a matched-funding basis, it says.

The closing date for people to register an interest is November 27.

The Reading Road shop already has financial services planning consent.

A Post Office spokeswoman said: “We are aware the lease for Henley post office expires at the end of the year.

“We are committed to maintaining a post office in Henley and we are currently looking to see how the service can be maintained at the current location or at a new location.” The lease of the former premises of estate agents Daltons, two doors from the post office, is being advertised by Peers & Hilton.

The business closed after owner Paul Dalton died in January following a battle with pancreatic cancer.

Mr Dalton, 66, of Bensgrove Close, Woodcote, remarried his former wife Linda only days before he died.

His daughter Lucy Dalton was running the business but said she was looking for a “more suitable alternative solution”.

Meanwhile, a new dry cleaners has opened in New Street.

Lilly Dry Clean is in the former Simon Drew Art Works premises.

The shop had been empty since the artist closed it in December after three years, blaming the cost of overheads, particularly business rates, and having to travel to and from Dartmouth in Devon, where he has two other shops.

Londoner Andy Andreou, 48, who has been in the dry cleaning industry for more than 30 years, decided to move to Henley after visiting the town about three years ago.

On Friday, Cherwell, a company specialising in windows, doors, conservatories and orangeries, will open at the former of premises of Spanish art gallery La Casa in Hart Street. This will be its third showroom.

The gallery opened in September last year and was run by Melanie Free, whose husband Jack owns the neighbouring Jack’s Gallery. It sold prints, ceramics and sculptures.

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