The future of Cholsey post office looks secure after a potential buyer read of its plight in the local press.

The vital village amenity had been set to close at the end of May following the retirement of the current sub-postmaster Eddie Kinch.

Despite months advertising nationally and on the Internet, Mr Kinch had been unable to find a buyer interested in buying his three-bedroom house and the adjoining post office business.

The property was on the market for £229,500. Mr Kinch was considering seeking a change of use and selling all the premises as a dwelling.

But a buyer interested in the post office business has at last come forward and contracts are due to be exchanged shortly.

Paul Hobbs, of Langford, near Faringdon, read about Cholsey post office in the Oxford Mail's sister paper, the Wantage Herald.

Having previously worked for Morland, the brewery, he now plans to "try something a little different" and become a sub-postmaster.

He said: "I have had my offer to buy the post office accepted and have had an offer on my property, but I don't want to count my chickens before they've hatched."

A Post Office spokesman confirmed: "We have received a very strong application to run Cholsey post office and we're hopeful we can finalise all the details so the village can have a new sub-postmaster soon."

Cholsey Parish Council chairman George Crockett said he welcomed the news.

He added that the village had already lost too many amenities in recent years, including the Buckthorn Lane shops, several pubs and a hairdresser.