Post Office bosses may be staying tight-lipped over whether they have plans to open a branch in South Shields’ main shopping street – but Gazette readers are hoping it’s a yes.
Speculation has grown over the future of the former Officers Club clothing store, in King Street, which closed down in January last year.
For the last few weeks workmen have been working inside the building – as the Post Office looks for a new site for when the building in Keppel Street closes to make way for South Tyneside Council’s £100m 365 regeneration plans.
Post Office bosses refuse to confirm or deny whether the King Street site – which was previously home to HMV and Geordie Jeans – will be the new location.
A Post Office spokesman said: “The current site of South Shields Post Office is part of a regeneration project. We know how important Post Office services are to the local community and we have been working hard to identify a suitable nearby site for the branch. We hope to make an announcement regarding the new location soon.”
However, readers are hoping there’s some truth in the gossip in the town, with dozens taking to the Gazette’s Facebook page to express their views.
Carla Gray wrote: “YES! Get some quality into King Street. Get people shopping local again!
Stephen Moran said: “This would be a big boost. Where there’s a Post Office there is always an increase in the amount of people in the nearby shops.
Sheena Brown sent: “Good idea.”
Doris Watling added: “Good idea and we need new business in town.”
David Barber was also keen for the potential move, but suggested another location.
He said: “The Marks & Spencer building would be better. It would be right opposite the entrance from the new ‘365’ area and it will bring footfall to the market end of King Street, which is sadly lacking.”
A spokesman for South Tyneside Council said: “We continue to work with the Post Office and support them with relocation to a prime town centre premises to help realise our 365 vision for South Shields.”
*In September, plans were approved for the Royal Mail Delivery Office, which is next door to the current Post Office – but has been a separate business since 2012 – to be relocated to West Walpole Street on the Rekendyke Industrial Estate. This is to make way for the town’s new future transport interchange as part of the 365 redevelopment plans.