Press release

Consultation to inform Post Office state aid application launched

A consultation to inform government's next state aid application for funding the Post Office has been launched.

  • consultation on post office network launched to inform government’s next state aid application to European Commission
  • no proposed changes to the 11,600-branch network
  • post offices are now open for an extra 200,000 hours a week, with almost 4,000 branches open on a Sunday thanks to government investment

A consultation to inform the government’s next state aid application for funding the Post Office has launched today (8 November 2016).

As part of the European Commission’s state aid rules, an evidence base for the level of funding government gives to Post Office Ltd must be provided.

Between 2010 and 2017 to 2018, the government will have invested almost £2 billion to modernise and sustain the network – improving customer experience and efficiency of the company.

By helping the government understand what customers and small businesses expect from branches, the consultation will inform future funding applications for the network. This includes how much support should be provided and what it should be used for. No changes are being proposed in the consultation.

The government has also today published research showing post offices remain a core part of local communities in the digital age, with 95% of people still accessing services at their local branch.

Business Minister Margot James, said:

This research shows how much communities and businesses value the Post Office.

That’s why the government is committed to funding, maintaining and enhancing the national network, with 4,000 branches now open on Sundays and 200,000 extra opening hours since 2012.

More than 90% of consumers and 88% of small businesses surveyed by YouGov and London Economics said they use post office services at least once a year with more than half using their local branch for 2 or more services.

Notes to editors:

  1. The consultation will remain open until 21 December 2016. View the government’s consultation and respond here.

  2. The YouGov and London Economics study carried out in 2015 polled more than 5,000 households and senior representatives from 750 small and medium-size businesses. View the findings at Post Office network: social value

Published 8 November 2016