After months without a convenience shop or post office, excited villagers welcomed back the new-look Dilton Marsh Village Store at its grand opening last Friday.

The shop, which has a Post Office counter, closed at the end of September last year, prompting villagers to set up a petition to save both the shop and post office.

It reopened last Wednesday before the official opening on Friday. Matt Lawes took it over in February and carried out renovation work.

The 33-year-old, who recently moved from Hampshire to Gillingham, Dorset, contacted the Wiltshire Times last year to enquire about the contact details for landlord Chris Brown when he read about the store’s closure.

Mr Lawes said: “It’s great to finally be open and it has gone really well so far. We have had a steady stream of customers since opening.

“There are lots of opportunities around selling fresh food and we are currently working on establishing more contacts with local firms.

“We have four members of staff, who are all local, and the provisional date for the reopening of the Post Office counter is May 19, although that is only provisional. The contract is signed, though, so it won’t be a million miles away from that date.

The shop already sellsseveral products from local suppliers, including The Good Egg Company in Hilperton, Paxcroft Preser- ves and The Salisbury Sandwich Company.

See www.diltonmarsh