Oakham’s main post office is closing, with services moving to a newsagents shop in the High Street.
Post office chiefs say the move will provide customers with “significantly longer opening hours”.
The post office in Market Place will shut for good at 5.30pm today (Thursday) and reopen at Martin’s at 1pm tomorrow (Friday).
The new premises will then be open from 7am to 8pm Monday to Sunday, giving customers access to post office services seven days a week. The main office had opened 8.30am to 5.30pm Monday to Friday and between 8.30am to 12.30pm on Saturdays.
The relocation has been welcomed by mayor Oakham Adam Lowe who said he was delighted the town was not losing its post office.
“When organisations are looking at cutting costs, there’s always a risk that facilities could be lost,” he said.
“But at least that is not the case in Oakham and the post office will remain in the centre of town.”
Post Office regional network manager Simon Drinkwater, said: “We understand how important having a post office is to residents in Oakham and we are confident that this new modern post office will meet the needs of the local community and secure services for the future.
“The modernisation is part of a major investment programme to convert the post office network to new-style branches and this investment, the largest in the history of the Post Office, makes a commitment to no more branch closure programmes.”
Mike Kearney, manager of the Oakham branch said many people in the town had never known any other location for the post office so there had been some concerns.
“But people are not going to lose out,” he said. “There will be no loss of service and customers will benefit from longer opening hours.”
The new branch will have five counter positions – a mixture of open-plan and traditional screened counter positions, together with a serving point at the retail counter where most Post Office transactions will be available during shop opening hours.
The main post office building, which was built in the early 1900s building, also houses the sorting office which will continue to operate from the premises.
Coun Lowe said the town council hoped the space left by the counter service will not remain empty.
Senior partner at Oakham-based Reid Commercial Property, which is marketing the two large rooms used for counter services within the building, described it as suitable for use as “retail, office or studio” space.
Steve Reid, senior partner at the agents said: “There has been some strong interest in the premises.”