Bonar Bridge Post Office Opening - 18th October 2016
Bonar Bridge’s Post Office was purchased by the Kyle of Sutherland Development Trust in May 2014. This opportunity enabled the community of the Kyle of Sutherland to secure the Post Office as a stand-alone service in its current location at a time when the trend was for post office branches across Sutherland to close and be relocated into groceries and newsagents. Community consultation was overwhelming in its support for post office remaining in its location on the Lairg Road as one of the key services in the village.
With funding from the Scottish Land Fund and the support of Highlands and Islands Enterprise the Post Office, sorting office and adjoining house and garden were purchased. The Postmaster was happy to continue until such times as he wished to retire when a new postmaster would be found.
Funding was dependent on being able to show that this was a sustainable project for the Trust. The rental income from the Post Office and sorting office along with rental from the house were major elements in the business plan. New housing to the rear of the large garden which backs onto the street behind was a further component to be realised as and when funding became available.
The award from the Scottish Land Fund funded the purchase cost and also a Project Officer post for 12 months. The Project Officer element of the funding proved to be vital as it allowed the Trust to move forward quickly with the purchase, the house refurbishment and planning approval for houses to the rear of the property. A successful application to the SSE Regional Fund allowed the Trust to carry out the refurbishment of the house and have it rented by November 2014.