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.
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.
A survey of 800 rural residents and 250 small rural businesses carried out by Citizens Advice, the consumer watchdog for post office and postal services, has found that rural communities are significant users of post offices and clearly value them. More than half the UK’s 11,600 post office outlets are in rural locations.
Key findings from the report on Rural Post Office Use include:
- Rural consumers still use post offices significantly more often than urban consumers and they are more likely to use many of the services offered
- Post offices remain embedded in rural life, providing a range of community and retail services
- Rural small businesses rely on post offices more than their urban counterparts (71% of rural small businesses say that without their local post office, their costs for accessing services would rise)
- The more rural a community, the more important its post office.