Postal bosses have delivered a pledge to remain at the heart of South Tyneside – despite plans to demolish two major buildings as part of a £100million town masterplan.
Design drawings for a new integrated transport interchange in South Shields town centre were released by the borough council and its development partner on the town’s ‘365’ vision, Muse, last week.
We are in discussions with the council over the future of the siteRoyal Mail spokesman
But for the new bus and Metro interchange to go-ahead it requires the demolition of both the Royal Mail’s sorting office in Keppel Street and the Crown Post Office on the same site.
Now consultations are under way over alternative sites to relocate those existing services within the town.
Meanwhile, tomorrow, townsfolk will be able to examine plans for the interchange at a consultation event from 2pm to 7pm at South Shields Museum and Art Gallery in Ocean Road.
It will be followed on Saturday, from noon to 4pm, with a second gathering at South Shields Central Library in Prince Georg Square, following which the exhibition of plans will tour various locations in the town.
Today a spokesman for South Tyneside Council said discussions with Royal Mail and the Post Office were at an “advanced” stage, adding: “We understand that the Post Office is committed to remaining in South Shields town centre and is currently seeking alternative premises.
“We also understand that Royal Mail is seeking an alternative location within South Shields for its sorting office.”
A spokesman for Royal Mail said “all options” were being considered for an alternative site.
He said: “Royal Mail can confirm that it is currently considering all options for its South Shields delivery office operations and is in discussion with South Tyneside Council on the future of its site at Keppel Street.
“There are no immediate plans to change the way we sort mail or deliver mail in the South Shields area.
“Royal Mail operates an open and honest policy with our staff and any changes to our delivery operation are always discussed first with our people.”
The company has also made a commitment to stay in the town centre beyond the planned redevelopment in 2016.
A spokesman said: “We are aware of the developments in South Shields town centre and we are monitoring the situation.
“We know how important Post Office services are to people in South Shields and we would like to reassure customers that we are committed to maintaining services in the area.”
The spokesman said the priority was “to preserve our physical presence at the heart of the community”.