The future of the world's oldest post office could be at risk if a new owner cannot be found.

Open since 1712, Sanquhar Post Office, in Sanquhar, Dumfries and Galloway, is recognised by Guinness World Records as the first post office in the world.

The 308-year-old establishment is a popular visitor attraction in the village and a ‘lifeline’ for elderly people in the community who depend on it for banking.

But there are fears it could soon be lost as it’s elderly owners, Dr Manzoor Alam and his wife Nazra, have been unable to find a buyer for the eighteenth century premises.

Last November, the couple, who bought the businesses in 2015, announced their plans to retire, and began the search for new owner to take over.

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They had planned to step down at the end of May but have now called on politicians to help them safeguard the businesses.

It is understood the couple have agreed to stay on until a new postmaster is found.

David Mundell, MP for Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale has called on Alok Sharma, the business secretary, to intervene.

In the House of Commons last week, Mr Mundell said: “Sanquhar in my constituency has the world’s oldest post office and that title derives from the fact that the post office has been on the same site for 300 years.

“Will the Secretary of State confirm that, along with the Post Office, he’ll take every opportunity to keep the post office on that site?”

Mr Sharma replied: “I recognise the historic significance and the role of the post office in Sanquhar, and I thank all the staff who have kept it running over the years, particularly most recently through the COVID pandemic.

“I very much hope that a long-term future for that post office can be secured.”

The business is on the market for £275,000 and includes a three-bed cottage, rear gardens and a sorting office.

It is popular with its banking service as Sanquhar, which is home to around just 2,000 people, only has one bank - after the closure of the town’s RBS in 2014.

The branch is also an attraction for tourists, post enthusiasts and stamp collectors, who seek to have their letters hand stamped at the world’s oldest Post Office.