A MODERN post office with extended opening hours is just weeks away from opening in Havant.
Following the demise of the post office in East Street, it has been a long wait to get a new purpose-built service.
But it has been confirmed that the new post office in West Street will be open from 1pm on Thursday, July 10.
The office, which will also include a newsagents, will be open from 8.30am to 6pm Monday to Saturday – an extra 11 and a half hours on top of the current opening hours of the office in North Street.
The branch in North Street will close on July 9 at 5.30pm.
The new office will have five serving positions.
These will be a mixture of screened and open-plan positions, with a range of services on offer.
Councillor David Guest, whose ward includes the town centre, said it was a welcome boost for Havant.
‘It’s absolutely brilliant,’ he said. ‘I am so thrilled we are keeping a post office.
‘For a number of years we did not have one after it closed in East Street and people fought very hard to get it back in North Street.
‘They have gone through a lot of public consultation about its new location and there’s been very positive feedback from people.’
The development could be a major boost for that section of the town centre, which has an empty plot of land that is earmarked for new shops and flats.
He added: ‘It will increase footfall in West Street – a lot of people go to the post office.
‘When I go there, there is always a big queue.
‘We really want it to stay in the town – it’s an integral part of our society.’
The unit at 56 West Street is currently a furnishings shop and this is expected to move into the Meridian Centre.
The new premises will be run by a permanent operator, Baljit Mandair.
Julia Marwood, Post Office regional network manager for the region, said: ‘We understand how important Post Office services are to the people of Havant and we are confident this new modern Post Office service will meet the needs of the local community and secure services for the future.
‘This modernisation is part of a major investment programme, the largest in the history of the Post Office and marks a commitment to no more branch closure programmes.’