A POST office is set to return to Christchurch town centre in the New Year.

The town has been without a post office since last year.

A public meeting was held in April to discuss the need for service to return to the area.

The franchise in Church Street shut when the director decided to liquidate the company as it was no longer deemed financially viable.

Residents currently have to travel to Purewell Cross on Somerford Road or One Stop on Barrack Road to access a post office.

A Post Office spokesperson, said: “We are delighted to be able to announce that a Post Office is proposed to re-open in central Christchurch early in the New Year.

"We have a successful applicant. Details are currently being finalised and public consultation will soon begin.

"The plan is for a mains Post Office also selling cards and stationery.”

At April's meeting, public affairs manager Stuart Taylor said the Post Office were doing all they could to find a site.

He said: "We recognise how much local customers and the town’s traders value their Post Office service and we are keen to generate maximum awareness amongst the business community of the benefits of incorporating a Post Office into an existing or new retail business.

"We are committed to see Post Office services restored to Christchurch as soon as we can find a suitable operator and premises for the service."

Following that meeting, four interested parties came forward and were in discussions with the Post Office about delivering services in the town centre.

Cllr Peter Hall said it was brilliant news to hear a post office was returning to the town.

"Every day when I go to Christchurch residents ask when are we going to get our post office back in the town," Cllr Hall said.

"We have been without a post office for so long and it provides a number of important services for people in Christchurch, particularly the elderly members of our community.

"I'm delighted to find out that we will soon have the post office back up and running."