GOSPORT’S new post office will open later this year with extended opening hours.
The new facility will be built with a WH Smith in High Street, to replace the much-criticised existing one.
It is due to open in late October and the move has been welcomed by town leaders.
Gosport Borough Council’s leader councillor Mark Hook welcomed the move.
He said the previous branch was causing problems for staff due to its poor condition.
He said: ‘I’m delighted for the staff that they will be in a warm environment in winter.
‘It’s one of the biggest problems that old post office had.
‘It was difficult for them because they just sat behind a desk working. I’m pleased it’s moving in time to beat the winter.’
The Post Office was looking for a new postmaster in the town while a temporary agent was running the branch in the high street.
The current branch will close at 5.30pm on October 28 and the new one will open the following morning at 9am.
The new office boasts an extra 20 hours of opening, including on Sundays.
Julia Marwood, regional manager for Post Office, said: ‘We are making it easier for customers to get their cash, send and collect their mail and do their banking because we know how important these services.
‘We’re confident that this vibrant new-style post office at the heart of the community will be popular.
‘The modernisation is part of a major government investment programme that is enabling us to continue investing in the post office network and to map out a growth strategy through to the end of the decade.’
As previously reported, the current post office was blasted by Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage over being a state of disrepair.
Cllr Hook had called the post office a ‘severe embarrassment’ to the town.
But he is pleased a new service will open, along with the WH Smith franchise.
He added: ‘I’m delighted to see WH Smith.
‘It shows another company is confident to come to Gosport.’
A plan to move the post office into Gosport Discovery Centre, run by Hampshire County Council, was axed last year and so was another plan to move it into the town hall.
The branch will be open 7am to 6pm Monday to Saturday, and from 11am to 4pm on Sunday.