THE opening date of a new post office has been welcomed.
The branch in Gosport High Street will be moving at the end of January and will be open for longer.
The finalised date of the move has been welcomed by Gosport Borough Council leader Mark Hook.
He said: ‘I am delighted that we have a completion date for the move of the post office.
‘It is great that at last the post office will be moving into a new home and that a WH Smith is also coming to Gosport high street.
‘It shows confidence that the big brands want to come to Gosport.
‘It is a positive step and I think it is good for the high street.
‘It fills an empty unit in the middle of the high street and leaves suitable premises behind.
‘At the moment, it was difficult to get a business to share with the post office but now anyone brought in can have that whole space.’
The current branch at 136 High Street will close at 5.30pm on January 27 with the new premises at 51-52 High Street opening at 9am on January 28.
The new branch will have five counter positions; a mixture of screened and open-plan counters and a post office terminal by the shop’s retail till.
Cllr Hook added: ‘It is great that the exchange between the two branches will be seamless. That is an important factor.’
But he said another important feature is the longer hours of the new post office.
It will be open nine hours extra a week with selected services available from 8am until 6pm Monday to Saturday.
All services will be available from 9am until 5.30pm.
Regional manager Julia Marwood 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 are to residents.
‘We are confident that this vibrant new-style post office at the heart of the community will be popular.’
The post office decided to move premises after its permanent contract ended and was replaced by temporary one which could end at short notice.