A trouble-hit pub which has lain vacant on a South Tyneside estate is to re-open as a convenience store and Post Office.
A date has now been set for the relocation of Post Office services to the One Stop shop which has moved into the former Red Duster pub in Whiteleas Way.
The news has been welcomed by local councillor Coun Ernest Gibson who, last year, raised concerns over the building’s future after it was targeted by vandals.
He said: “This is great news for the estate, especially for those residents living nearby who have had their lives affected by antisocial behaviour while the premises were empty.
“The relocation of the One Stop Shop and The Post Office can only be a positive for the area and will hopefully bring more businesses onto the estate.”
The current Whiteleas Post Office at 186-188 Whiteleas Way, will close at 1pm on Tuesday January 29.
During the transition period customers are being directed to the West Park Post Office, on Stanhope Road.
The new Whiteleas branch will be open to customers at 1pm on Thursday February 7.
The serving point in the store, where the Post Office terminal will sit, will be alongside the retail till.
Post Office services will be available during the store’s opening hours, 6am to 11pm Monday – Sunday
Kenny Lamont, Post Office Area Network Change Manager said: “We are making it easier for customers to get their cash, send and collect their mail and do their banking because we know how important these services are to local residents.
“We are confident that this vibrant new-style Post Office at the heart of the local community will meet customer needs.”
Services that will be provided will include bill payment, banking, benefits and travel money; Banking services for personal customers and small businesses; Postage, home shopping returns and Local Collect.
The Red Duster is one of several traditional ‘estate pubs’ that have closed over the years on estates in South Tyneside.
It had been thought it was going to become a Herons Food Store. However,it is thought the deal fell through leaving its future in doubt until it was taken over by One Stop Ltd.
In previous years a number of former pub premises have been converted into shops including The West Park into Sainsbury’s and The Mariner Pub which is now a Co-Op store, while others have been demolished to make way for housing.