A HISTORIC one-time post office is being transformed into a cafe.

Work is underway to convert the premises, in Main Street, Haworth, which is scheduled to open in its new guise before Easter.

An £8,900 grant has been awarded by the Government-financed Keighley Towns Fund towards the cost of the project.

In addition to fitting out the premises with commercial kitchen equipment and furniture, the extensive work includes the relaying of the roof and reinstatement of Victorian chimney pots, the installation of heritage-style railings to the front, replacement windows, the removal of a lean-to at the rear and the provision of a Sugg lantern on the front corner of the facade.

Eight new jobs are being created.

In the 19th century, when it was a post office, the building was used by the Bronte sisters to post their manuscripts to London.

The literary siblings lived in the nearby parsonage, now a museum which attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors from across the world keen to see the family's former home and surroundings.

Charlie Cowling, owner of The Old Post Office, says: "Accessing the grant funding was a real game-changer, enabling us to invest in the latest commercial technology which will improve efficiency and be fit for purpose.

"Being able to purchase items during the renovation process has enabled the project to be completed much sooner than originally planned. We will be open before Easter and look forward to welcoming locals and visitors alike into this historic building in the heart of Haworth."

Liz Barker, acting chair of Keighley Towns Fund, says: "We are delighted to have made such a significant difference to this incredible local business – and such an important building.

"The funding will have an impact for years to come, and the successful growth of our business community will help drive social and economic change for the whole area."

The grant was awarded from the Towns Fund's Capital Assistance to Business Growth Programme, which has around £2m available to support businesses in Keighley.

A similar amount is available for businesses in Shipley, under its Towns Fund.

Councillor Alex Ross-Shaw, Bradford Council's portfolio holder for regeneration, planning and transport, says: "Grants ranging from £1,500 to £315,000 are still available for businesses within – or looking to move to – the Keighley and Shipley Towns Fund areas, and other businesses are invited to apply."

For further information, go to bradford.gov.uk/regeneration/keighley-towns-fund/keighley-towns-fund