NEW hope has been voiced this week that post office facilities in Keighley town centre will be saved.

Fears were sparked over future provision after stationery and books giant WH Smith announced it would be closing its Cooke Lane store, in the Airedale Shopping Centre, on September 3.

The branch includes a post office – which relocated to within the store when the old Towngate post office closed, despite a campaign to keep it open, in 2014.

Now Post Office Ltd has told the Keighley News that it's committed to maintaining a service in the town, and is in the process of appointing a postmaster.

The news is welcomed by town mayor, Councillor Luke Maunsell, who described the prospect of having no central post office in Keighley as "unacceptable".

He says: "Maintaining a post office in the town is of paramount importance and I am hoping that this progress comes to fruition.

"I thank Post Office Ltd from the bottom of my heart for appreciating the significance of this service in Keighley, and wish any new postmaster the best of luck in delivering for this town."

Keighley MP Robbie Moore has pledged to continue pressing to ensure the replacement facility is provided.

He added: "It is absolutely right that Post Office Ltd is committing to keep its service in Keighley town centre.

"Post offices provide an important facility for both local people and businesses. I will be fighting hard to ensure that Post Office Ltd makes sure its service offering is maintained within the centre of town."

It's suggested the replacement facility will be in Towngate, but Post Office Ltd has not confirmed that.

A spokesperson said: "We are committed to maintaining a service in Keighley, and an applicant is in the latter stages of the process to become postmaster.

"We will keep the local community updated as we progress plans to open a replacement branch.

"We appreciate that our customers are concerned about the future of Keighley Post Office and we are working hard to mitigate the impact to people in the area."

WH Smith said it was "disappointed" to be leaving Keighley, but that it could no longer "trade viably" from its town site.

It added that with its lease due to expire, the decision had been taken to close.

The company said it was in discussion with Post Office Ltd so a franchise partner could be found.