A POST Office described as a ‘vital’ part of the Dodworth community will close later this month - although the Chronicle can reveal a new home for it has been identified.

More than 1,100 people signed a petition to object to the closure of the Post Office, which is based inside Cohen’s Chemist on High Street.

Since the document was submitted, Post Office bosses have been working alongside Coun Neil Wright in order to find a solution, prompting a local business - Dodworth Discount Store - to submit an application in order to take over its running.

The Chronicle understands negotiations are at an advanced stage and although the Post Office will close on July 20, October has already been earmarked for it to reopen in the nearby shop.

Coun Neil Wright said: “The news caused massive upset to its customers when it was announced last year but we’re almost there and have identified a building which we feel is suitable.

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“We had looked at relocating it to the library and even the Co-op, on Barnsley Road, but neither proved possible.

“The Post Office is priceless to the community as people, many who are elderly, rely on the services it offers.

“We haven’t stopped fighting and we’re doing all we can to secure its long-term future in Dodworth.

“The process has now started in terms of an application being submitted from Dodworth Discount Stores to the Post Office in order to continue the service. Plans are also being developed for the shop front’s alteration, a disabled access and a refurbishment.

“The closing date for the current location is scheduled for July 20 but this date must not be seen as Dodworth losing its Post Office forever - the fact is that for various contractual and legal reasons there has to be a gap between one Post Office shutting and another one opening.

“The closure, albeit temporary, is unavoidable but we’re confident the service will resume in the winter.”

A ‘carbon copy’ situation has happened on Market Street, Hoyland, according to Coun Wright, involving Cohen’s Chemist closing its shop which also houses a Post Office.

But Post Office bosses told the Chronicle this week that Hoyland’s provision will also be saved by moving to a different location within Hoyland’s centre.

A Post Office spokesperson said: “We can confirm that the postmaster who runs Dodworth Post Office gave us notice and the service is due to close in summer 2019.

“The branch is run independently and while we always work hard to maintain Post Office services, from time to time branches do temporarily close.

“When this happens, we always look to restore services as quickly as possible, as we know how important Post Offices are to communities.”