VILLAGERS are worried that they could lose their post office forever unless a new owner steps into the breach.

Skelton Green post office closed on June 21 following the sudden resignation of the previous sub-postmaster.

The office was part of Ann and Mick's Off Licence and Grocery Store, which also closed.

One Skelton Green resident said: "I hope somebody takes it over soon, because they could easily shut it for good otherwise."

Another residents added: "It's causing a problem for pensioners as they've got to go to Skelton or Boosbeck. I know it's not that far, but it is a problem if you are getting on in years.

"They can't get other items in the village, either, because the shop is shut."

Redcar and Cleveland councillor Helen McLuckie, whose ward includes Skelton Green, said there was great concern among residents that the post office should not be permanently closed.

She said: "This is a mixed community, with old and young people, and it would be another service lost to the village.

"We need to try and get the service up and running again, even if somebody took it over on a part-time basis."

A spokeswoman for the Royal Mail Group was unable to confirm whether there had been any applications to take over the branch.

She said: "We are still doing everything we can to restore the service in Skelton Green."

Anyone interested in the vacancy, who must be able to provide suitable alternative premises, should contact the agency recruitment section on 08456 016260.