A postmaster has been given a vote of confidence from customers after his store was nominated for a national award.

Paul and Gail Mather, who run Sherston Post office and Stores – which won the Village Life Wiltshire Shop of the Year competition in 2008 – received notification on Friday that they had been shortlisted in the ‘most improved store’ category of the Retail Industry Awards.

It comes six months after the shop celebrated a move from previously cramped conditions to the newly refurbished Old School Rooms facilities in the High Street, which villagers helped raise £1million towards.

“This all relates to the last 12 months, reflecting where we came from and where we are now,” said Mr Mather. “We made a difficult decision to move position and increase our overheads, and to break even we have to rely on the people in the village, who have been really supportive.

“It was very cramped before – we all had to go round in single file.”

The business, which Mr and Mrs Mather bought in late 2004, is one of six businesses in the running for the award.

They now have to undergo a formal interview and a mystery shopper before the results will be announced in September.

Mr Mather said: “We are who we are and we like to have a bit of fun here and if that doesn’t suit them then hey ho. You just give it your best shot and hope for the best.”

The Mathers have totally re-fitted the shop and installed a second Post Office serving position.