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Brian and Jo Young say they've dug into their own pockets to try to keep the business afloat but now the pot has 'run out'
A couple running a post office in a Wirral town say they have been forced to close after spending months keeping it afloat with their own money.
Brian and Jo Young closed their Neston Post Office branch on July 5 after five years running the service in a move postmaster Brian described as "upsetting".
The couple say they personally funded the service to keep it going during the past six months.
The Young's, who have run post offices for the past decade, also manage branches in Little Neston and Thingwall and they say they have had to close the Neston franchise in order to keep the other offices viable and protect staff jobs.
Speaking to the ECHO, Brian said: "it is upsetting - for our customers, for me and my wife - it's been hard and we've done our utmost to save it.
"The reason for closing has sadly been purely financial. As a franchise, you just get paid by the transactions you do but they weren't unfortunately covering the costs of the staff and premises and it got to the point where we've been personally financing it for the last six months.
"There comes a time when that pot runs out and we had to make a decision the only way to secure jobs and staff and to make sure all our businesses were viable was to close the Neston branch.
"It has meant we've been able to keep hold of all our staff and have moved them to our other branches."
Brian says that while Covid has played a "big role" in the problems the Neston branch has faced, this has also fed into an ongoing trend.
He said: "I think Covid has accelerated the fact that people obviously do a lot of stuff online, pay for the postage online and use services online.
"Banking has changed so we don't handle cash and whereas we were paying in cash, we'd get a payment for that, all of those services obviously have depreciated.
"There's also been issues with travel as we're not doing travel currency. People also have been ordering online when they do as people can now and the way people shop in general has changed."
Brian says he believes the problems he has faced in Neston reflect wider issues in the post office industry and in the high street in general.
He said: "I've seen personally a massive change over the years in the high streets and also in the local shopping, as well as big changes in the post offices with different products brought in and different products we've lost
"I think there's a lot of post offices struggling as a lot of small businesses are struggling."
"Unfortunately it's the society that we're in that we're going online and more modernised now and there's going to be casualties because of that.
"There are going to be casualties too because of Covid - the way of the world is changing and it's very hard for all small businesses these days."
Brian says he and his wife Joanne are now focusing on their two remaining post offices and are hopeful local residents will still have a nearby resource in their Little Neston branch, as well as the services they offer in Thingwall.
He said: "We've still got Little Neston open the same it's offering all the same facilities and we do cards and gifts and general stores and we have a lot more of a retail offering, same service and friendly staff, still there to support the local community.
"We're still full steam ahead and we're glad we're still able to serve our customers, just sadly no longer in Neston."
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