With the closure of RS McColl scheduled for September, concerns over where the Post Office will end up are sweeping Linlithgow.
The Post Office currently shares premises with the newsagents but the lease is set to expire and RS McColl has confirmed that it will not be renewing it.
This move could potentially leave the Post Office homeless should a suitable tenant not be found quickly, or if the Post Office fail to find alternative premises.
Linlithgow MP Michael Connarty was fast to act, when he heard the news, to ensure that Linlithgow remains a town with a Post Office.
“My main concern is that they try to turn it into a Post Office Local,” he said this week. For a town of this size it is important that we have a Post Office that can deal with the amount of people who live here and use its services.
“We don’t have another proper Post Office from Queensferry to Westfield, so to remove the only one in Linlithgow would leave this entire area without a full Post Office and a service which is highly important to the people who live here.”
He added: “I would certainly hope that this will not turn into a cost-cutting exercise, where they decide to downsize because their location has changed in the town.
“I have been given assurances from Mark Wright and Connie Hewitt from Post Office Ltd that they will not leave Linlithgow without a Post Office but the location of it in the town is still in question, due to the closure of RS McColl.”
Work has already started to try and find a suitable occupant for the building that will now lie vacant without RS McColl as tenants, and letting agents have not closed the door on the possibility of the Post Office staying where it is, although they admit there is uncertainty surrounding the whole situation.
Michael Gill of Shepherds Commercial, who are dealing with the premises, said: “To date there have been a few approaches by people looking to take on the site and some of them have been open to the idea of the Post Office remaining where it is.
‘‘However there is a bit of uncertainty from our side as we don’t actually know if the Post Office would want to stay in the current site.”
The Post Office has acted swiftly and stated its intention of staying in the Royal Burgh insisting that a Post Office will remain in the town but, the PO admitted, possibly in a different location.
A Post Office spokesman said: “Following the resignation of the sub-postmaster in Linlithgow, Post Office Ltd would like to reassure its customers that we are committed to retaining a Post Office service in the area.
‘‘We are currently exploring a number of options that will enable us to do so.”