A POST office which was under threat of closure is relocating to enable longer opening hours and a more secure future.

Furze Platt Post Office will move from its current home in Furze Platt Road to Stop N Shop in Shifford Crescent in September.

The Furze Platt Road branch has been run by a temporary agent since the contract with the former postmaster ended, meaning the service was liable to close at short notice.

Sue Whittall, regional network manager, said: “We understand how important having a Post Office is to residents in this area.

“The move, part of a major investment programme, the largest in the history of the Post Office, aims to secure Post Office services to the local community for the longer term by providing a more modern and commercially viable service.

“We are confident this new Post Office service will meet the needs of the local community.”

Hetal Patel has been appointed as the new Postmaster and the Post Office will be incorporated into his shop and the branch will be renamed the Shifford Crescent Post Office.

The new Post Office will be a ‘local plus’ style branch which will offer manual banking (non-barcoded transactions), Transcash, and Royal Mail and Parcelforce Worldwide International parcels. Payment by cheque will still be accepted.

The branch will also open earlier and close later than the current store, opening between 6am to 8pm Monday to Saturday and 6am to 4pm on Sundays which equates to 48 extra hours of Post Office services a week.

Comments received during the Post Office’s public consultation were mixed with many in support of the move for the better parking facilities and longer opening hours but others were concerned about privacy, security and level of service in the new branch.

Some fixtures and fittings in the current shop will be removed or re-aligned for clear access and the entrance, shopping aisles and the queuing area will be kept free from obstructions. The Post Office has also said that security will not be compromised.