Doubts on future of Gosport high street Post Office

THE future of a Post Office has been cast in doubt only a year after it opened.

Saturday, 14th May 2016, 6:01 am

It comes as WHSmith Local in Gosport, which houses the Post Office, has been put up for sale on property website

The opening of the town centre’s main Post Office branch was long-awaited after it was delayed for months.

The Post Office was due to open in October 2014 but the shop did not open until March last year. The delay was criticised at the time by Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage and Gosport Borough Council leader Mark Hook.

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Now, a year later, the appearance of WHSmith on Right Move has caused doubts over its future with shoppers.

Brian Lox, from Gosport, saw the advertisement online.

The 55-year-old said: ‘It is frustrating that only a year after it has opened it could be closing. I know they want to find a new owner but what happens if no-one is found?

‘I don’t think people will care about WHSmith too much but the Post Office is key. With banks closing, the Post Office is an important service.’

His wife Janet, 53, agreed. She added: ‘There are always queues for the Post Office which shows how popular it is. I do hope a new buyer is found because the high street needs a Post Office.

‘We were told when the old one closed we would have this one.’

But Cllr Hook said shops can be up for sale for a number of reasons. He said it does not mean they will be closing.

‘If anything, it is good to see that the shop has been put up for sale and it hasn’t closed straight away,’ he said.

‘Hopefully the owners will find someone who wants to continue to invest in the Post Office and WHSmith.’

A Post Office spokeswoman, said: ‘The Post Office and WHSmith property is a modern, conveniently-located Post Office branch. Therefore the sale is likely to attract a lot of interest from people.’