Wombwell’s Post Office will now run in the former Yorkshire Bank building from 9am until 5.30pm from Monday to Friday and from 9am to 12.30pm on Saturdays - with the firm stressing it knows ‘how important a Post Office is to a community’.
The branch was previously sited in Wombwell Library and before that, Heron Foods, on High Street, before the retailer pulled out of the deal last year citing ‘diminishing demand and a reduction in scale fees’.
A battle ensued that saw Heron initially hold off on the closure as a temporary postmaster was appointed in July - before the branch was finally given a temporary base in the library on Station Road in January.
But a permanent solution has always been the aim of campaigners from the local community, as well as ward councillors and Barnsley East MP Stephanie Peacock, and all parties have lobbied Post Office to ensure services are guaranteed for Wombwell.
And while the move into the former Yorkshire Bank - which itself closed last year - is cited as temporary, it will at least mean full-time access to services including banking, mailing and currency exchange.
Newly-elected Wombwell Coun James Higginbottom, who campaigned as a resident, called the move a ‘welcome step forward’.
“It’s a stable location for the Post Office, although the search does need to go on to find a permanent solution,” he said.
“We’re glad Post Office have said that whatever temporary solution is in place, they’re still advertising for a business to take the franchise on.
“Fundamentally, we need a Post Office on the high street.
“Closures are bad for the community, bad for the local economy, and older and more vulnerable people are hit hardest by service closures.
“It seems Post Office have got the message that local communities need a post office as much as they need local communities.”
Earlier this month, it was announced members of the South Area Council would fund an extra day per week for the post office while it ran out of the library, at a cost of £54 a week.
Staff from the Birdwell branch had been operating the branch on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
The closure of both the bank and Post Office would’ve left the town without a physical bank branch.
With only one other bank - Barclays in Hoyland - remaining in the whole of the Barnsley East constituency, and ten in Barnsley Central, Post Offices have been posited as an alternative for those who require physical banking services.
There are around 60 Post Office branches in Barnsley, but many have been downsized or established in other premises.
Darfield’s Post Office was recently announced to be reopening in Snape Hill Convenience Store, to the delight of locals.
The Wombwell branch will reopen from 1pm on Tuesday in the former Yorkshire Bank, on High Street.
Ian Johnson, Post Office network provision lead, said: “We are delighted that Wombwell will soon have a full-time Post Office once again as we know how important it is to a community.
“We are very grateful to Barnsley Council for allowing us space within Wombwell Library, and to the current postmaster at our Birdwell branch who stepped up at short notice and operated the service for us.
“This allowed us to maintain Post Office services upon the resignation of the previous postmaster.”