AFTER years of disrepair and uncertainty, Gosport’s post office is being replaced.
Daljinder Athwal, who will be the new postmaster, said she is looking forward to opening the office.
She said: ‘It’s really exciting. It’s going to be happening in September.’
It comes as Post Office was looking for a new postmaster in the town while a temporary agent was running the current branch in the high street.
A consultation will run until early June and, if no problems arise, the branch will be fitted by September.
As reported in The News, Post Office had come under fire from community leaders and Gosport’s MP Caroline Dinenage over the branch.
Last year, plans to move it into Gosport Discovery Centre were axed as the county council said it was not feasible.
Subsequent plans to move it into the town hall have now been dropped.
Mark Hook, the Conservative leader at Gosport Borough Council, previously called the branch a ‘severe embarrassment’.
He said: ‘I’m delighted that at long last we’ll have a post office the high street deserves.
‘It shows the commitment by the Post Office to retain a high street branch, which is important.
‘Secondly, it brings a unit which has only recently closed down back into use.
‘A new company in Gosport shows the confidence of them coming into our high street.’
Daljinder has experience running other post offices and will be joined by her brother Pradeep, who is the franchisee for WHSmith, and her father Val.
Val said: ‘It’s brilliant. We are looking forward to the partnership.
‘We have been searching the area over the years but haven’t been able to find a suitable one.
‘This one came up and we snatched it straight away.’
Val added they are due to exchange contracts tomorrow on the property, 51-52 High Street.
The office will open for an extra 19 hours each week, opening earlier and shutting later in the week.
It will be open on Saturday and Sunday.
Julia Marwood, Post Office regional network manager south, said: ‘We are confident that this new modern branch will make it easier for our customers to do business with us and also secure services for the future.’