THE modernisation and upgrade of Hawne Post Office has been given the go-ahead securing the branch's long term future.

The Stourbridge Road post office will close in February for twelve days for the extensive refurbishment of the branch which will create "a modern retail environment."

Opening hours will be extended with the post office opening at 8.45am instead of 9am and it will now be open for business on Saturday afternoons.

Post Office area manager Mark Jacobs welcomed the investment and modernisation for the branch.

He said: “We understand how important the Post Office is to residents around Hawne and we are confident that this new modern Post Office service will meet the needs of the local community and secure services for the future.”

He added: “This modernisation is part of a three-year investment programme, the largest in the history of the Post Office, that will see around half of the Post Office network converting to new-style branches and marks a commitment to no more branch closure programmes.”

Customers will also be able take advantages of new services being available including car tax discs and there will be three screened serving positions to cater for more custom.

Hawne Post Office will be closed for refurbishment from 12:30pm on Saturday, 8 and will reopen from 1pm on Thursday, February 20.

during the closure.

Customers are advised to use nearby branches on Windmill Hill and in Packingham Street, Halesowen, during the closure.

The Post Office is now independent of Royal Mail and is the largest retail network in the UK, with over 11,500 branches.

In 2008 despite huge protests the then Government axed 2,000 post offices across the country including the branches in Hasbury, Shell Corner, Oldbury and Quinton.