Rural post office boost

POST offices could be set for a rural renaissance thanks to a huge Government cash boost.Village post offices axed due to falling business could re-open using cash from the £450million investment.

POST offices could be set for a rural renaissance thanks to a huge Government cash boost.

Village post offices axed due to falling business could re-open using cash from the £450million investment.

And that could see the open sign back up in the door of post offices like Chelmondiston which recently closed.

Jon Richardson, regional secretary of the National Federation of Postmasters, said: "There's every possibility that could happen – I hope so anyway."


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Government plans, which are yet to be finalised, could see £150million a year ploughed into Britain's most vulnerable rural post offices.

Mr Richardson, who combines his regional role with being postmaster at Brunswick Road, Ipswich, pointed out previous promises of cash had not resulted in increased investment.

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But, if the money is forthcoming, he believes many of Suffolk's country offices could qualify.

He said: "There's a tremendous number in Suffolk that are running right on the edge. They need this money to survive – it could be a lifeline for them."

And in another piece of rare good news for the embattled Royal Mail, Mr Richardson said new banking technology could also be a boon.

In the coming weeks, all post offices will be equipped with new technology to allow customers of Barclays, Lloyds-TSB, the Co-operative Bank, Alliance & Leicester, Smile and Cahoot to take money out over the counter.

He said: "It's really good news, it means people in villages who have lost their banks will be able to go to the post office."

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