A popular children’s author has saved Steyning’s Post Office from closure.
The future of the service had been uncertain ever since Alan and Barbara Marsh, who had run it since 1997, put the grade II building up for sale in September 2017 after deciding to retire.
At the time, they said they hoped that any new owners would continue to run it as a Post Office – but earlier this year it began to seem as though the service could be lost from the high street.
That is when author Julia Donaldson, who has many links to Steyning, stepped in.
She and her husband Malcolm approached their friends Vanessa and Jed Bamford, who run Steyning Holiday Cottages, to ask whether they would consider running the Post Office and shop if Julia and Malcolm purchased the building.
Luckily, Vanessa and Jed decided that this would fit it in with their existing business and accepted the proposal.
In a joint statement, the group of four said: “We are so excited by this opportunity – we really want the new Steyning Store and Post Office to be here for the community, and to continue to support the High Street with all its wonderful independent shops and businesses.”
The Steyning Store will shortly be having a makeover before it reopens with a new retail offering.
The Post Office will remain open throughout this period, they confirmed.
The news comes in the same week that the Royal Mail launches a set of commemorative stamps celebrating the 20th anniversary of Julia’s beloved creation, The Gruffalo.
Julia’s links to the town include her strong relationship with Steyning Bookshop, which manages her school visits and sells signed copies of her books in the shop and through their website.