THE search is on for new premises for Minehead Post Office.

The current post office operating from the Co-op supermarket in The Avenue has been given notice to quit.

The Co-operative Group plans to demolish the building and redevelop the site with homes and a smaller convenience store.

The Post Office is advertising for applicants to run a new office in the town.

And local MP Ian Liddell-Grainger is calling on traders to help ensure continuity of postal services can be maintained.

Mr Liddell-Grainger said: "They are the people who have the most knowledge of potentially suitable premises and what opportunities may be in the offing in terms of empty shops.

“It is vital that we retain a main post office in, or relatively close to the town centre because the only alternative is the Alcombe Post Office, which only has two serving positions, each coping with retail shop sales as well as conducting post office business.

“That is just about satisfactory at the moment but clearly it could not handle a major increase in footfall, quite apart from the fact that it is hardly in a convenient location for most people in Minehead.

“I would like to think we could find a new site for the post office within a matter of weeks so that the Post Office has plenty of time to make all the arrangements for a smooth transition of the business when the time comes.”

A Post Office spokesperson said: "Post Office Ltd is looking for a successful retailer to incorporate a Post Office Local into their existing or proposed business.

"The offer available in this post office would be Post Office Local, integrating Post Office services into a vibrant and sustainable retail business, so they can be offered over the same opening hours."