THE move by Barclays Bank to reverse a decision to remove its services from the Post Office has secured the long-term future of some of Tynedale’s most rural businesses.

Bellingham News, which hosts the village’s post office, and Ponteland Post Office were worried about the long-term effects of Barclay’s announcement that customers would no longer be able to withdraw money from post offices from January.

The managers of the services claimed that rural communities relied on the post office services to get cash and it could lead to the closure of their local post offices.

It was announced last Thursday that Barclays had made a U-turn on the plans after thousands of customers and more than 100 MPs complained to the bank.

Kate Jameson, the postmistress at Bellingham said: “I’m happy because I’m still going to get the business in, but I’m more happy for the customers because the majority of them are elderly who were worried and panicking as they can’t use an ATM.

“I had a petition which had 650 signatures on, which I was going to send to Barclays to highlight that there was opposition against the plans in such a rural area, but I don’t need to now.”

Kate praised the support of Hexham’s MP Guy Opperman who called on Barclays executives to reverse their decision in a meeting at Westminster.

Norma Edminson who manages the Ponteland Post Office said: “I couldn’t believe the news when I heard it, I’m absolutely delighted.

“Some customers have told me they have already changed banks as a result of the initial announcement, but this post office is no longer under the threat of closure because the cash withdrawal service will be retained.”