PO network secures more funding after turning in a small profit

20 December 2017

The Post Office network is to get £370m in new funding, the government has announced.

About £160m of the money will be used to protect village community branches, Business Secretary Greg Clark said.

The three-year funding deal, running from next April, comes as the Post Office announced it had moved into profit for the first time in 16 years.

In addition to the money for village branches, some £210m will be used to modernise services and technology.

Mr Clark said the Post Office was "at the heart of communities across the UK, with millions of customers and small businesses relying on their local branch every day to access a wide range of important services".

He said: "With the network at its most stable in decades, this £370m of government funding will ensure it can continue to modernise and bring further benefits to customers across the UK."

Calum Greenhow, CEO designate of the NFSP commented: “We welcome the Government’s investment in Post Office Ltd, particularly the continued commitment to support rural branches, which would not survive without subsidy.

“However, we remain concerned about the continued stability of the network, despite longer opening hours the number of people visiting Post Offices continues to fall and subpostmasters are finding it harder and harder to make a living.

“Ninety-eight per cent of the Post Office network is operated by small business people, or franchise groups – it’s on their backs this profit is being made.

“We await further detail around how this money will be spent, we would like to see investment in new technology, improved infrastructure, and fair commission rates so that our members have a fighting chance of earning a return on their investment.”  

Alongside the announcement, the Post Office revealed that it made £13m in the last financial year.

CEO Paula Vennells described this as "a major milestone in the Post Office's journey to a sustainable and successful business".

She added that "we are better placed than ever to embrace the future".

We’ll have more on this story in the January issue of The SubPostmaster.