Doncaster's historic main town centre Post Office is set to move from its iconic Priory Place building and re-open inside the Frenchgate Centre branch of WHSmith.
The shock move has been announced this morning and will bring to an end the Post Office's long history in the Grade II listed building in Priory Place.
The Post Office is proposing to relocate the branch and create a new office within the Frenchgate's WHSmith store, offering the same range of services.
The existing Doncaster branch team will move to the new site and will continue to be employed by the Post Office and the move could take place as early as June this year.
The Post Office is now inviting customers and interested parties to give their comments on the proposed move in a six-week public consultation that starts today.
Roger Gale, Post Office’s Sales and Trade Marketing Director, said: “We are committed to keeping our services on the high street which we know is hugely important to people. This proposal means we can continue to do that, into the future.
“Our customers will be offered the same range of services and our collaboration with WHSmith helps secure the long-term viability of the branch.
“We are making sure we take the right course of action to sustain services for years to come.”
Subject to consultation, the new Post Office branch will have five serving positions plus three self -service kiosks.
During the public consultation, which ends on 22 March, the Post Office is welcoming feedback on factors such as location, proposed premises, accessibility or community issues that customers would like considered before a final decision is made.
Customers can provide views during the consultation on the website postofficeviews.co.uk, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, by phone on 03457 22 33 44 (Textphone 03457 22 33 55) or by post: FREEPOST Your Comments.
The Grade II listed building was built in 1885 by local builder Frederick Masters and has been home to Doncaster's main Post Office for decades.
The building is also though to be built on top of the last resting place of a Scottish king who ruled more than 700 years ago.
Historians and archaeologists believe one time King of the Scots Edward Balliol could have his last resting place beneath the distinctive red brick building.
Balliol, who ruled north of the border from 1332-36, died in Doncaster in 1367.
Historian Peter Robinson said: “The current Post Office is built on top of a huge burial ground and at that time, that’s where a lot of eminent figures would have been laid to rest. At that time, the area was home to a large Carmelite friary and that’s one of the places where Edward could be buried.”