A POPULAR post office which closed last year will reopen nearby with extended opening hours.

The former post office in Prince Avenue, Westcliff, closed in October 2012, because the building was to be redeveloped as new homes.

However, a post office will now open in Dilbar Convenience Store, in nearby Eastbourne Grove, on Monday, September 30.

The post office will be open for additional 28 hours per week, between 8am and 7.30pm from Monday to Saturday.

Mike Grimwade, Lib Dem councillor for Prittlewell, was delighted about the reopening, and added residents were overjoyed.

He said: “Longer opening hours mean the new post office is much more accessible to residents, and it is very conveniently placed, so everything is in its favour.

“The Post Office was most helpful throughout the process – together we toured the area, looking at several different locations to try to find the best site. It listened to all our suggestions and was fantastic to work with.”

Mr Grimwade says there were worries the new plans would not go ahead when a few technical difficulties surfaced, but they were overcome.

He added: “I have no doubt it will be very successful.”

Lillian Sinclair, 70, of Eastbourne Grove, Westcliff, said: “I regularly used the old post office opposite Tesco and had to go into Southend or Leigh to use the post office there. I’m really pleased this new one will open.”

Shop owner, Pritpal Tak, said: “It’s great news, and I’m really happy that it’s coming to my store.

“It will be a great focal point for the community, and already lots of people have come in and said they can’t wait.”

Mr Tak said preparations for the opening of the post office have started and training will take place at the end of the month.

He said: “The tension is there. People seem to be more excited about it than I am! That’s good, because it shows we really do need a post office in the area.

The new site will be a Post Office “local”, with a modernised open-plan counter.

Post Office regional network manager, Julia Marwood, said: “We are delighted to be restoring a service to residents and we are confident this new post office service will meet the needs of the local community and secure services for the future.”