A BORDERS village post office will close in October in a “huge loss” to the area.

Calum and Gillian Greenhow have run the sub-post office branch in West Linton for almost three decades.

But with their contract coming to an end and a shift in how people use postal services, the village “stalwarts” have decided to shut up shop.

Mrs Greenhow said: “It is awful. It will be a huge loss to the village, there is really nothing we can do about it, I am afraid.

“We are very much up against Royal Mail who are offering, daily online, that they will pick up mail from your door for free and it is cheaper if you do your posting online.

“Realistically the amount of money we actually take for post is dramatically reduced.”

“A lot of the companies doing pre-paid returns take the money from people’s refunds so we don’t take money for that either.”

Mr Greenhow, the chief executive officer of the National Federation of SubPostmasters, has been away at the Post Office Horizon IT Inquiry this week.

But in a heartfelt messages posted on the social media, the couple said: “In 2012, the government introduced a network transformation programme that aimed to reduce the cost of the Post Office network to the British taxpayer.

“In 2015 we signed a compulsory agreement with Post Office Ltd that we would leave the network if somewhere else was found in the village for the post office.

“Nothing happened and we carried on as normal.

“Post Office Ltd has decided that this programme will end.

“After much deliberation, and taking our circumstances in recent years into consideration, we have sadly agreed to this, which will result in the closure of the post office and shop on Friday, October 11.

“Our wonderful staff fully support this decision.

“We do not want to leave the village without a post office facility and our focus is now to work with Post Office Ltd to ensure that this remains in some way.

“We will let you know as soon as we can what this will be.

“Thank you for your support, encouragement and community over the last 29 years, we love what we do and will continue to serve you as usual until October.”

Tweeddale West councillor Viv Thomson said: “I have spoken with the Greenhows and understand that this is a difficult decision for them to make given the length of time they have had the post office in the village.  

“They have been stalwarts of the West Linton community for many years and I am sure that the community will support them over the coming months, and beyond.”

A Post Office spokesperson said: “We are sorry to hear that the owners of West Linton Post Office are stepping down and the branch will close at this location on October 11.

“Between them they have served their community since August 1995 and we know that they have not taken this decision lightly.

“We are exploring a way to maintain service in this community on a part-time basis.

“There is a full-time branch at Penicuik, which has been run by the same postmaster for 44 years.”