Post Office to get £370m in government funding

Post Office
The Post Office has secured additional government funding for the next three years.

The Post Office have secured £370 million in new funding for the next three years, according to a government announcement on Wednesday.

The three-year deal follows the Post Office reporting turning a profit for the first time in 16 years.

Alongside funds for sustaining village branches across the UK, £210 million will be set aside to facilitate modernization of Post Office services.

The government said it had invested more than £2 billion since 2010, with a network of around 11,600 branches.

In addition, it has ensured extended opening hours and more branches open on a Sunday.

The government Business Secretary, commented: “The Post Office is at the heart of communities across the UK, with millions of customers and small businesses relying on their local branch everyday to access a wide range of important services,”

“With the network at its most stable in decades, this £370 million of Government funding will ensure it can continue to modernise and bring further benefits to customers across the UK.”

Paul Vennells, chief executive of the Post Office, said: “We are better placed than ever to embrace the future.”

“By continuing to invest in post offices, in our digital channels, in support services and, most importantly, by putting our customers first, I am confident that the Post Office is absolutely ready to take on the opportunities and challenges ahead.”

Nevertheless, the move has been criticized by various trade unions.

Andy Furey from the Communication Workers Union blamed the Post Office for “cutting its way to profit”.

“This lack of [public financial] support will lead to very worrying times and ultimately we believe it will impact on services to the public,” he added.

Similarly, Brian Scott of the Unite union, commented: “The Post Office appears to be lacking in direction, a clear business plan and, if it’s been successful, it’s through managed decline.”

The Royal Mail business was privatized back in 2013, as the government looked to offload costly assets.