A POSTMISTRESS has been found for a community that fought to keep its post office services.

Imogen Kirkbride, 22, from Hawes, has taken on the position alongside postmaster and local councillor John Blackie, and will run Hawes Post Office after it was saved from closure after a local campaign.

Residents faced the prospect of having a mobile office three times a week, with undelivered mail having to be collected in person from Leyburn, 17 miles away.

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Miss Kirkbride said: “I am absolutely delighted to be part of this stirring community enterprise, and intend to go well beyond the extra mile in ensuring the Hawes Post Office is a huge success from the day it opens.

“And what a wonderful bonus for me to be able to live and work here in the Upper Dales”.

North Yorkshire County Councillor Blackie said: “To have lost the Post Office permanently, as was proposed, would have been a devastating blow.

“Like many other rural communities, those of the Upper Dales have seen their vital support infrastructure whittled away over recent years - we decided enough was enough.

"With the commitment of people like Imogen, and the vital support of county and district councils, we can and will keep the Upper Dales alive and thriving.”

Councillor Blackie has received training from the Post Office in the duties and responsibilities of being head postmaster, and further training will be provided to Miss Kirkbride.

The new look Post Office will be in the Upper Wensleydale Community Office, which already houses the local library and an access point to services provided by Richmondshire District Council, North Yorkshire County Council, and North Yorkshire Police.

The post office will open for business on June 26.