ANDOVER'S Post Office could be relocating to High Street's WH Smith store.

Test Valley Borough Council leader Councillor Phil North revealed today (Thursday) the Bridge Street branch is proposing to franchise the store as part of a wider national plan to relocate 40 outlets into WH Smith branches.

A date has not been confirmed for the move, Post Office bosses say a six-week public consultation on detailed plans will be announced in due course.

Cllr North said: "I'm sure there will be mixed views on this but one potential benefit is that it would make the current WH Smith store more sustainable.

"Ultimately, though the devil will be in the detail in making sure the same services that are currently provided in the Bridge Street branch will also be available if or when it relocates to the High Street."

Post Office network and sales director Roger Gale said: “WHSmith and Post Office have worked together successfully for more than a decade and our collaboration helps to secure our services on high streets for years to come.

“We’re continuing to respond to unprecedented change on high streets and in consumer trends.  By adapting to the needs of customers we’re making sure Post Offices will matter as much tomorrow as they do today, with services available when and where people want them, in convenient locations and open for longer hours, including Sundays.

“We’ve made significant changes in our network of 11,500 Post Offices over the past few years, modernising more than 7,500 branches and increasing opening hours for customers by more than 200,000 a week.  We’ve also developed our services, including the introduction of everyday banking for customers of the UK’s high street banks.

“The vast majority of the Post Office’s network of 11,500 Post Office branches, large and small, are run on a franchise or agency basis with retailers as part of thriving businesses.  It makes sense to further expand this successful, sustainable way of providing Post Office services to customers.”