THE future of Bracknell's town centre post office has been secured after it was told it had until the end of year to find new premises. 

The branch of the Post Office in High Street has been forced to find a new home so developers can demolish the building and replace it with a block of 14 luxury flats.

WHSmith has stepped up and offered to host the branch within its current store in Princess Square and all staff will be transferred this November. 

The post office had been told to leave the High Street base by December 31.

Roger Gale, Post Office general manager, said: "Bracknell town centre is undergoing extensive redevelopment. With our landlord’s plans to re-develop our existing site, we are unable to renew the lease.

"We have taken the opportunity to review the way we offer our services in Bracknell to identify a more viable way for us to provide a Crown Post Office in Bracknell. 

"We’re delighted to have secured an agreement with WHSmith enabling us to maintain a Crown Post Office in Bracknell and to provide our customers with a bright new modern branch."

The new branch promises to be a 'modern retail environment' with four serving positions and a private consultation room for finance services and an extra eight opening hours a week as the post office is brought into line with WHSmith opening hours. 

New opening hours:

Wednesday-Monday - 8.30am-5.30pm

Tuesday - 9am-5.30pm

Closed on Sundays.

A consultation on the move will start today, Wednesday September 23 and run for six weeks. 
The Post Office will review all feedback from customers before finalising their plans to move but hope to be open in the new branch by December. 

WHSmith also operates franchised Post Office branches in more than 80 locations around the country.

Developer Bradiston Real Estate Inc submitted a planning application to Bracknell Forest Council in June this year to secure permission to demolish the post office building and replace it with a seven-storey block of 14 luxury flats and one retail unit on the ground floor.