We wanted to bring Post Office back to life not upset people

Craig McGill outside the old Post Office, which is now the offices of WMS Recruit (top). Right: you can clearly see out of the building from inside. Bottom: The signs from outside with far right one of the windows that is still painted out.

A recruitment firm which has found jobs for 50 people in less than a fortnight is rethinking whether to carry on at its Wisbech offices.

WMS Recruitment, which moved into the old Post Office on Bridge Street earlier this month, has come under attack via social media for poster-style signs they have put in the Grade II-listed building’s windows.

Now Craig McGill, the firm’s operations manager, says they have been so upset by the vitriol they are reconsidering their position.

“We are a Wisbech company, we began here over 20 years ago and we are a real success story for the town.

“We have offices in Spalding, Lincoln and a big operation in Cornwall. We also took over the Friday Bridge Camp six years ago and have spent £100,000s modernising it.

“We are very proud of our Wisbech roots and the owner Wayne Cotterill has a strong loyalty to the town.

“When we were looking for an office in the town he saw the Post Office and thought it would be a great location for us – and at the same time bring this beautiful old building back to life.

“But the criticism we have faced has been absolutely ridiculous. We need signs to tell people who we are and what we do, but we didn’t want to materially change the outside of the building.

“The signs we have put up in the windows, are very expensive and are the latest technology – Contravision.

“It means on the outside they look like signs and from the inside they are not there – you can see clearly out of the windows,” said Craig.

He said: “The windows were painted completely white when we took over. We had the paint removed – which was quite a big job – and then chose signage that was not too dissimilar.

“They are white with just our name on – they are not garish or over-powering. But for some reason people have raised a fuss about them.

“We did not have to take this building, it is too big for what we need, but Wayne wanted to do it so the building didn’t fall into disrepair.

“We are paying a lot more to lease the building than we would have paid for an office elsewhere, but putting back into the community is something we are proud to do.

“We have found employment for over 50 people in the first week – that’s 50 people in work and no longer claiming benefits.

“I wonder if people would have been half so angry, or even said anything, if a solicitors or accountants had taken over the Post Office and put up similar signs. We feel really upset by what has gone on and we are now reviewing the situation.

“If people would rather the building had painted out windows and be empty then that is up to them.

“Surely it is better that someone is occupying it and looking after it,” said Craig, who added that WMS have yet to hear from Fenland District Council’s planning department over the signage.

“We got all the necessary planning permission to convert it from a Post Office to an office, we have done all the necessary paperwork. But we haven’t been contacted yet about the signs – we wait to see what the officers say,” he added.

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