Vital community services are returning to Helmsley this August thanks to The Inn Collection Group, as the pub with rooms operator provides a new, temporary home to the market town’s Post Office.
From next Tuesday (August 22) the historic Black Swan will be the base for a temporary solution that will open between 10am and 1pm on Tuesdays and Wednesdays and from 09:30 to 12:30 on Thursdays, restoring a facility absent since Autumn 2022.
The service has been much missed by the local community since the original permanent premises closed unexpectedly last August and a mobile post office ceased in November, with more than 1,300 people signing a petition calling for the restoration of the facility.
With the funding to provide the new temporary operation in place, members of the team at Black Swan and operations manager Nicola Fortune worked quickly with both Post Office staff and local councillor George Jabbour to establish the service as soon as has been possible.
And whilst the ultimate aim is for the establishment of a new full-time Post Office in the town, offering a mobile counter within the Black Swan has allowed The Inn Collection Group to play its part in restoring what is described as an essential service.
Speaking after the arrival of the new Post Office counter and the successful completion of final operational tests, Mark Wright, general manager at Black Swan said: “We’re delighted that we have been able to provide a home for a service so vital to so many members of our community and look forward to its first day back next week.
“We know how important the Post Office is to businesses and individuals in and around Helmsley and while Black Swan is just a temporary host whilst a new permanent option is secured, we know what having the service back this will mean in the town.
“Inns have a long tradition of being at the very heart of the community and I am delighted that we are taking that beyond being a place from which to eat, drink, sleep and explore.
“The inn will be open as usual during the Post Office’s hours of operation so anyone coming to use its services are more than welcome to sample what we offer as an inn too.”
Cllr Jabbour said: “Immediately after funds were secured for a temporary solution in Helmsley, members of the Post Office and the Black Swan Hotel teams worked tirelessly to make sure that this new service is available to our community as soon as possible.
“The Post Office counter has now been delivered to its new home at the Black Swan Hotel and is already set up to ensure that the first transactions will be processed smoothly on the opening day.
“I am keeping my fingers crossed for next Tuesday, but in the meantime, I would like to say a huge thank you on behalf of our community to everyone at The Inn Collection Group & The Black Swan and the Post Office for making this a reality.”
Ian Murphy, Post Office network provision lead for North of England said: “We are delighted to be restoring a Post Office to Helmsley as we know how important a Post Office is to a community and how sorely missed this branch has been.”
Purchased by The Inn Collection Group back in January 2020, The Black Swan has been providing travellers with a warm welcome and famous hospitality on Helmsley’s market square for hundreds of years.
This iconic site dates back to the 15th century with an Elizabethan building on one end, a Tudor one to the other and a Georgian house in the middle, making The Black Swan wonderfully higgledy-piggledy and with bags of character.
Extensively refurbished, the venue now offers a 146 cover restaurant and 60 letting bedrooms for people to eat, drink, sleep and explore in North Yorkshire and the surrounding areas.