The Government has announced the outcome of their spending review and we are delighted that Post Office will receive an investment of £227 million in total. This includes a subsidy of £50 million to protect access to essential services in commercially challenging locations.
Over the last several years we have improved our branch environments, offering more convenience and longer opening hours for customers. We need to continue to adapt and evolve.
This investment will enable us to continue to improve the products and services we offer, focusing on the core four products of Mails, Banking, Bill payments and Travel Money. And we will also make it better for Postmasters to provide these services to customers. It will be used to improve services which bring additional customers to our Postmasters, such as Drop & Go and the introduction of automated cash deposits at branches.
We also need to modernise our branch processes and equipment so that we can build a Post Office which is genuinely fit for the future. Investment will also go towards further developing our support and service available to Postmasters, like Branch Hub.
Through the Covid-19 pandemic, Postmasters have supported customers and their communities, and played a critical role in local economic recovery. Research by Public First, commissioned by Post Office, shows visits to the Post Office help drive another 400 million visitors to other shops, restaurants and local businesses, driving an estimated £1.1 billion in additional revenue.
Welcoming the announcement, Nick Read, Chief Executive at the Post Office, said: “I am delighted the Government has recognised that Post Offices are a critical part of the country’s essential infrastructure, supporting millions of people and small businesses with access to everyday banking, mails and parcels services.
“The work Postmasters have done throughout the Covid-19 pandemic is a powerful reminder just how important having a Post Office is not just to people in local communities but to the thousands of small businesses which keep the economy going.
“This important funding settlement will enable us to invest in our products and services and maintain our presence on High Streets and in rural communities right across the UK helping fuel economic recovery.”
Postal Affairs Minister Paul Scully said: “The £227m funding the Government has provided through the Spending Review extends the network subsidy at £50 million and provides Post Office with £177 million to invest in the future of the network. This will ensure that post offices in every corner of the country, including our vital rural branches, can keep providing essential services for the people that rely on them – now and in the future.”
Thank you to all Postmasters who are working hard to support their customers and their communities, whilst ensuring people stay safe and can access the services they need.
Now that we have an understanding of our funding agreement for the next year, we’ll share further updates on our future strategy with Postmasters in the New Year.