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Country News - 2004

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Youth Hostel To Bring Back Village Post Office

Thursday 04 February 2004

A DALES village which lost its Post Office two years ago is to have the service restored at its Youth Hostel.

Kettlewell, near Skipton, was left without a post office when its postmistress, who had run the service from her own home, decided to pursue an alternative career.

YHA Kettlewell manager Judith Mallams identified the need for a post office and suggested that the Youth Hostel could house the operation.

YHA regional manager for Yorkshire and The Humber, Simon Ainley, took the idea forward and the charity has now secured £40,000 in funding to convert the building.

Simon Ainley said: “We always feel we make a positive contribution to the local communities in which we operate, particularly by attracting visitors and bringing additional income into rural economies. However, this really is a new departure for us.

“The village needed a post office and, to be honest, the Youth Hostel needed something that would help generate a little more income. In the end, the Youth Hostel seemed an obvious choice and we’re delighted that the local authorities, the Countryside Agency and the Post Office have all recognised that as well.”

He added: “I believe it underlines what we have known for sometime, that Youth Hostels, far from being just a place for visitors to stay, can also be catalysts for local regeneration. Both YHA and our partners have seen it happen up and down the country and, hopefully, we’ll see it here too.”

Funding for the project was provided by North Yorkshire County Council through the Single Regeneration Budget (£13,988), the Countryside Agency Community Service Grant Scheme (£10,000), the Post Office Start Up Capital Subsidising Scheme (£7,443), Post Office Limited (£1,500) and Craven District Council (£2,000) YHA will meet the balance of the project cost, around £5,000.

Work is expected to start in May and will include improvements to access and security in the building, benefiting both Youth Hostel guests and village residents using the post office once it opens in the summer.

For more information or to arrange interviews and photographic and filming opportunities, contact YHA Press Officer Rob James. Telephone 01629 592775 / 0773 6628985 or email: robjames@yha.org.uk


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