THE Post Office has confirmed it is to close 11 branches around County Durham next month.

Campaigners have been fighting against the proposed closures for several weeks since it emerged that their future was under review.

However, despite a concerted campaign, Post Office Ltd announced on Wednesday that none of the doomed branches had won a reprieve.

Among those earmarked for closure are: Gilesgate Moor Post Office and Nevilles Cross Post Office in Durham City, as well as East Stanley, South Stanley and Blackhill Post Office in Derwentside.

The Post Office said the closures, part of the Urban Renewal programme, would ensure the viability of the rest of the offices in the area.

David Mellows-Facer, head of area, said: "We received a number of representations, petitions and meetings were held with various elected representatives to discuss our plans for the area as a whole."

He added: "However, having carefully considered all the points raised, I still believe that the permanent closure of these 11 offices is the correct course of action.

"The harsh reality is that many urban offices are struggling to survive because there are too many branches for the amount of business."