December 22, 2008 8:25 PM

Residents of High Heaton can look forward to restored Post Office services in the New Year, after it was announced that the temporarily closed branch at Newton Road is to re-open in the New Year.

The news has been hailed by Lib Dem Parliamentary Spokesman for Newcastle East Greg Stone, who represents the North Heaton ward where the post office is located.

The branch closed earlier this year after the sub-postmaster decided to cease trading, giving only 48 hours notice to shocked local customers.

Since then, the office at the Newton Road shopping parade has been closed, leaving residents with a journey of up to a mile to either Four Lane Ends or Chillingham Road across the busy Coast Road to

their nearest branch.

However, the branch was not included on the Post Office's closure programme earlier this year, raising hopes that the branch would be re-opened under new management, and confirmation has now been received that the office will reopen following internal refurbishment on January 16.

The re-opened branch will complement recent improvements in the local area, including the newly opened High Heaton Library and plans for a new garden area for residents of the Spinney flats.

Greg Stone said: "I am delighted by this news that the branch is to reopen, especially at a time when so

many Post Offices in Newcastle East.

"I have been regularly contacted by my constituents who have been asking me what has happened to their local branch and asking if it will re-open.

"Older residents on the High Heaton Estate and at the Spinney have been particularly inconvenienced by the lack of a local post office in the area.

"We received a huge response to a Lib Dem petition on this issue and I'm delighted that our pressure has paid off. I hope that this news will encourage other campaigners to keep on fighting for their branches, as I know just how much they mean to local residents.

"It will be a Happy New Year Year for High Heaton."