Plans to close Hartlepool’s main Post Office and relocate into nearby shop

Post Office, Middleton Grange Shopping Centre, Hartlepool.
Post Office, Middleton Grange Shopping Centre, Hartlepool.

Plans are underway to move the main Post Office in Hartlepool to a nearby shop.

The service has announced a proposal to axe the current post office in the Middleton Grange Shopping Centre.

The plan is to move postal services to inside the town’s WH Smith’s store - which is also in the main part of the shopping centre.

The Post Office says the move would extend opening hours for customers and also provide a seven-day-a-week service to the public.

Customers and interested parties are being invited to give their views on the proposed move during a six-week public consultation, which starts today.

Roger Gale, general manager of the Post Office Crown Network, said: “We are committed to keeping our services on the high street which we know is hugely important to people.

“This proposal means we can continue to do that, into the future.

“Customers will be offered the same range of services, with longer opening hours, including Saturday afternoon and Sunday opening.”

Mr Gale added: “WH Smith already operates around 100 Post Office branches from their stores in the UK and we’ve been successfully working with them for nearly ten years.

“They have a proven record of running Post Offices with consistently high levels of customer service.”

He said that the proposal would help secure long-term viability of services for local customers.

Mr Gale added: “We are making sure we take the right action to sustain services for years to come.

“We must adapt to the changing needs of our customers, who want a convenient and flexible choice of when and how they do business with us – whether that is face to face or on the web.

“We have to adapt so that we can maintain our presence on high streets and in the heart of communities, which we are determined to do.”

Subject to consultation, the new Hartlepool Post Office branch will have five serving positions - a mixture of one screened and four open-plan counters.

Post Office opening hours would be 9am to 5.30pm Monday to Saturday and 10am to 2pm on Sundays.

Existing staff at Hartlepool’s current branch have the right to transfer their employment to WH Smith if they wish to do so.

If the proposal is given the go-ahead the branch will move in February 2017.

Customers can provide views during the consultation by visiting the website at postofficeviews.co.uk or by email at comments@postoffice.co.uk.

They can also comment by phone on 03457 22 33 44 of by post to t: FREEPOST Your Comments.