Post Offices to get £1.3bn of new funding

The government yesterday unveiled a £1.3bn funding package for the UK’s post office network.

The Department for Business, Innovation & Skills said the 11,500 post offices would receive more than £330m a year for four years to maintain and modernise the network.

Business secretary Vince Cable said the cash would allow post offices to extend their opening hours, reduce queues and provide more government services in a bid to reverse falling use of the network. Cable said the network was not for sale and there would be no more closures, although over time it could be mutualised and ownership and operation handed to staff, sub-postmasters and local communities.

The government is planning to privatise the letter and parcel delivery service Royal Mail, saying it would allow it to benefit from private capital.

At least a tenth of the shares in the privatised business would go to staff, the government will take on the service’s pension deficit and collection and the requirement to collect and deliver post six days a week at affordable prices would be protected.