THE Post Office has insisted it is working to keep its Dulverton branch open after the postmaster revealed he was set to quit the business.

It comes after the village’s postmaster, Chris Dubery, a victim of the Horizon scandal, said the Post Office would close in September if he could not find someone to take it on.

Mr Dubery also alleged he has lost out on thousands of pounds after having to dip into his own pocket to make up for shortfalls which he believes was caused by faulty IT software used by the Post Office to balance its books.

Responding to Mr Dubery’s comments, a spokesperson apologised to all victims of the scandal, which saw a number of innocent people jailed, and said they continued to work to keep the branch open. The Post Office said in a statement: “We are deeply sorry for the pain which has been suffered by so many people, their families and friends throughout the Horizon IT Scandal.

“We know an apology from Post Office is not enough and we are working as fast as we can to provide redress, with over £179m paid to around 2,800 Postmasters to date.” 

“Our Post Office network remains stable with more than 11,500 branches. When Post Office vacancies arise we normally have applications from a retailer taking on their first Post Office or from a Postmaster or partner looking to take on an additional branch. Occasionally we are unable to find a replacement operator straight away, in that instance we will continue to look for a suitable retailer with premises in the area.”

However Mr Dubery told the Free Press he felt there was ‘little hope’ in agreeing a sale of the business, and that he could convert the building into homes as a last resort: “I will try and find someone to rent it out to, if there is no alternative it could become houses. It’s no good being empty.”

It follows reports that the Post Office is preparing to close potentially hundreds of branches amid a funding squeeze.