A SMALL village is to see its Post Office close for just over a week for refurbishments - but will have drastically increased opening hours when it reopens.

As part of Post Office’s plans to modernise its network of shops and extend opening hours for customers, Kingswood Post Office on The Chipping is changing to a new open-plan branch.

It will mean the outlet will extend its opening times by 44.5 hours a week and be open every day of the week.

The shop, which the Post Office is situated in, will remain open.

The new opening hours will be from 6.30am to 8pm, Monday to Friday and 7.30am to 8pm on Saturday and 7.30am to 7pm on Sunday.

The move to make it a Post Office Local branch is a new concept for delivering Post Office services from an open-plan counter, with products and services available alongside retail transactions during shop opening hours.

The post office will close for refurbishment on Saturday, January 18 at 12:30 and will reopen on Monday, January 27 at 1pm.

During the closure the nearest post offices are on Long Street in Wotton-under-Edge and Charfield Post Office on Wotton Road.

Post Office Regional Manager, Will Russell, said: “We understand how important having a Post Office is to residents in Kingswood and we are confident that the Post Office local service will meet the needs of the local community and secure services for the future.

“The modernisation is part of a major investment programme to convert the Post Office network to new-style branches and this investment, the largest in the history of the Post Office, marks a commitment to no more branch closure programmes.”

Regular customer at the Post Office, Pat Maddock, said it was in regular use by the community.

“A lot of people send parcels from there. It’s useful for people. The more times it can be open the better," she said.

"I love the shop there. It's been run by nice people who are very obliging."

Customers will be able to carry out a range of services, including automated banking services, bill and budget payment schemes, access their Post Office Card account, postal orders and postage.

The Post Office, now independent of Royal Mail, is the largest retail network in the UK, with over 11,500 branches.

It is also one of the UK’s fastest growing financial services companies and is developing its online and telephone services.