A POST office has officially opened in a new community store to make it the hub of a village.

The newly-built Candover Valley Community Store, in Alresford Road, Preston Candover, now houses the area’s Post Office after the outlet officially opened its doors on Monday.

As well as the Post Office, the store, which is a community-run outlet, has a café as well as stocking a range of groceries and local Hampshire produce.

The new Post Office was opened on Tuesday after the old one closed on Monday, as to allow an easy transition for residents.

The old site had become outdated, with the change part of the Post Office’s nationwide initiative to develop modern facilities.

Simon Grant, Post Office network change manager, said: “We are delighted to be able to combine Preston Candover Post Office within this brand-new community-run store and with convenient opening hours.

“The layout and location of the new branch will continue to meet customer needs and deliver an excellent service, whilst securing the long-term viability of Post Office services in the local community.”

As well as creating a more modern look to the post office, the new facility will be open for longer.

The move has allowed the facility to remain open an extra seven and a half hours a week including earlier opening. It also marks the end to lunchtime closing.

Candover Valley Community Store committee member Alison Ellett said: “We had a really good opening, and there is such a happy, positive, community atmosphere in the store.

“The volunteers have been fantastic and the reaction from customers has been positive, and have really been enjoying the Post Office.

“We are really pleased with the opening and with our new store.”

The official opening of the community hub will be taking place on June 22 at 2pm.