A community Post Office earmarked for closure this week has been given a stay of execution.
Residents had hit out at news earlier this year that New Hartley Post Office would close as the owner of the building looked to sell up.
It was due to close on Wednesday but thanks to the efforts of New Hartley Community Association and Seaton Valley Council it will remain open while long-term options for the store, and potential alternate sites, are considered.
Ruth Barnes, the Post Office’s Business As Usual field changeadvisor for the north of England, has been involved in the early discussions.
She said: “I am delighted to be working with Seaton Valley Council and the local community towards retaining post office services within New Hartley.”
Ward councillor Susan Dungworth is delighted that so much progress has been made in such a short time.
Officials hope to have a fully functioning and full-time local post office by the start of 2017, but it will be dependent on volunteer support.
Initial recruitment for volunteers starts at the New Hartley Summer Fair on Saturday.
New Hartley Community Association chairman Clive Raper said: “I for one will be signing up to volunteer my services.”