£1.3 billion will be invested in “transforming” the Post Office, it has been announced. Longer opening hours will be a priority of the changes.
Modernisation of around 6,000 post offices aims to be a “once in a generation” opportunity to breath new life into the postal service.
None of the 11,800 post office branches will close in the initiative, the government promise, but the postal workers’ union expressed concern that the changes could be a “major gamble” and potentially result in downgrading some branches.
The programme hopes to make the post-office more self-sustaining. Over the last 12 years the number of people visiting the post office has fallen from 28 million to 20 million.
The transformation plans include extended opening hours, and more local-style post offices which operate a counter inside a wider convenience store.
The investment is subject to European Union state aid clearance.