USK POST office could be relocated to a community hub under plans by Monmouthshire council to maintain the threatened facility.

The post office in Bridge Street is planned to close following the retirement of the existing postmistress.

And following the closure of Barclays Bank in September, the town was facing the possibility of having no post office or banking service.

Under the plans, a new post office would open and operate from within Usk Community Hub.

It would be the first time the county's hubs, set up in 2015, have included a post office within their services.

Monmouthshire council would become the postmaster and get paid a fee for every post office transaction conducted, including postage, home shopping returns, parcel collection, sale of travel money and bill payments.

A council report says: "Estimates of the volume of business suggest that the branch would operate at a loss, albeit the closure of the local bank could result in increased transaction for counter services.

"The operation would therefore effectively require a subsidy from the local authority.

"This is estimated to be around £8,000 per year assuming no uplift in income from the closure of the bank.

"The town council has agreed in principle to meet half of this cost resulting in a financial contribution of £4,000 from the local authority which it is anticipated could be met from planned efficiencies in other parts of hub operations."

The post office would operate 30 hours per week, opening during the same hours as the hub.

One new part-time job, employed by the council, would be created for the post office to ensure it is sufficiently staffed.

Providing a cash-point has been explored but it was not found to be financially viable, according to a council report.

The supply and fit-out of counter service including a safe, ICT, counter and security measures will be met by the Post Office Ltd.

Currently the existing post office has remained open as a "goodwill gesture" as the council draws up the plans, but it will close no later than the end of March next year, according to a council report.

It adds: "The post office is used by people of all generations but its loss would be felt particularly by older residents and those without access to a car who would otherwise need to journey to other towns to conduct transactions."

Monmouthshire council's cabinet could approve setting up the post office at a meeting next week, subject to being given planning permission for the development.

The proposal would not impact on the external appearance of the building except for new signage.