Community News

The Trust recently issued the following statement regarding the current status of the 3 Villages Cafe and Post Office:

Following issues that emerged recently and resulting actions to stabilise a situation within the 3 Villages/Pitstop Café & Post Office, a Development Trust (ATCDT) meeting took place to discuss further action concerning ongoing business operations.

Understandably the actions are affecting service users, given the reduction in opening hours. This unfortunately also impacted on staff employed within the business, which over a number of poor winter trading months had become untenable.  

Having identified an acute situation ATCDT, which is responsible for both the 3 Villages Hall and the Café/PO, were faced with difficult decisions, requiring immediate steps to safeguard its wider responsibilities. The unfortunate consequence was for two members of staff within the Café having to be made redundant, which we regret had to be actioned.

The community will recall that ATCDT took on the Post Office, at short notice, to maintain a popular community service in November 2016.  Throughout the past year the 3Villages/ Pitstop Café side of the business has been subsidising all associated staffing costs.  At the onset of winter and a drop off in visitor numbers, the business model has become unsustainable, with electricity, heating and services, wage costs, VAT and other consumables such as, a high volume of toilet provision to the visiting public, all overtaking seasonal income levels.

Many assume that the Post Office pays for its counter staffing.  This is not the case in local branches and they only provide commission on a number of product lines and services.  Evaluating levels of income over the year has been disappointing, although the provision of services such as electricity tokens, free cash withdrawal and for some local businesses, change giving and banking facilities, has been much appreciated by those making use of them.

In terms of local custom, only a small proportion of the community are using the 3 Villages Café as an amenity, alongside any Post Office usage, which has been disappointing and again as winter has come, insufficient in number to maintain full opening hours.

Whilst the community is fortunate to have 2 Post Offices within Arrochar and Tarbet, the level and profile of use is not encouraging.  Something ATCDT and the community may wish to discuss further, should we decide to terminate the contract and refer all future business to Tarbet PO.

Continued and increased usage of the PO in the Café for premium services such as Insurance, Broadband packages, buying Foreign money for holidays, Gift cards and Parcelforce express deliveries, will bring increased levels of income.  Otherwise, if locals don’t use the service, ATCDT and the café cannot continue to support and subsidise its continued business operation.

We have heard the criticism that adopting the Post Office was a failed experiment, undertaken in good faith for the benefit of the community. Whilst over the Summer a level of visitor usage allowed it, at best, to break even, the winter has proved to be uneconomical, despite dedicated effort from a number of volunteers, all the staff employed, reducing hours of operation and range of food on the Café menu, closing the takeaway and other cost control measures to sustain the joint operation of PO and Café, it has still proved unsuccessful.

Whilst we’ll continue to have discussion about the future of 3 Villages Café and the Post Office, we would ask Trust members and the community to understand that these decisions are not taken lightly and always made with the interests of the community at the core.

As intimated, the Post Office and Three Villages Café will operate on reduced winter hours for the time being, whilst the future of the joint operation is considered further and we can look forward to increased footfall again in the summer.

It’s noted that many of the arguments over RBS Branch closures are similar to the situation our Café & PO business finds itself in and unfortunately we don’t have their resources, and have been relying too heavily on volunteers in both management and operational roles for it to be sustainable over the longer term. 

Most residents are aware that ATCDT is volunteer organisation established for the good of the community.  Directors invest time and effort, with the best intentions for the community at heart.  They bring with them their experience in business, development, law, project management, environment, funding and finance.  If any member of the community would like to become involved, to strengthen our commitment, please do let us know.

We are also aware of recent negative comments via social media, from some within the community and beyond, and whilst their interest has been acknowledged, it has not been very helpful at this difficult time, diverting attention from serious efforts to sustain all our responsibilities.  The Community Trust (ATCDT) would respectfully request that consideration and respect is shown to all members of the community.

Feedback and Comments always welcome : 

The easiest way to get in touch with the Trust is via email either directly to one of its Directors or

Otherwise, you can contact the Hall by telephone: + 44 (0) 01301 702669  & leave a  name, number & message

or  by PO mail to:  ATCDT, Three Villages Hall, Arrochar, Argyll & Bute, G83 7AB


3 Villages Community Café - Winter Opening Hours

Sat & Sun  10.00am – 4.00pm; Tues – Fri  10.00am – 2.00pm (closed Mondays) (reduced menu midweek)


Post Office Local in Café - Winter Opening Hours

Sat & Sun  10.00am – 4.00pm; Tues – Fri  10.00am – 2.00pm (closed Mondays)

Full Counter Service & Posts during Opening Hours 


The Trust isn't currently publishing regular newsletters, but past newsletters are available to read and download here.

Click on the date to read the newsletter.

Winter 2015

June 2014

March 2013

December 2013

September 2013

June 2013

March 2013

December 2012

September 2012

June 2012

March 2012










Three Villages