The funding will lead to the equivalent of 57 full time jobs at post offices throughout Wales. This is the second round of funding which is designed to help sub-postmasters and sub-postmistresses diversify and improve their Post Offices. A total of £1.1million for sixty three post offices was announced in July.
The £4.5million fund, which will run for three years and is open to every sub post office in Wales, aims to help with business and marketing advice, advertising, training and some set-up costs for new services. Funding can also be applied for improvements such as creating better access to buildings, upgrading computer equipment, improving security or providing better signs for the outside of premises.
The Deputy Minister made the announcement at Glais Post Office in Swansea where he saw the work that has been undertaken with the money the post office received to carry out refurbishment work and install a bakery.
Twelve Post Offices have been awarded grants of up to £5,000 each for small capital projects such as new air conditioning or security systems and sixty three have been awarded up to £20,000 each for larger capital projects such as renovation, improving access or installing facilities for new services. Thirty four of the Post Offices have also received up to £15,000 in revenue funding which will help employ new staff or increase staff hours to provide more services.
The Deputy Minister said:
“Post Offices are often the heart of the community and as a government we have always recognised their value, particularly in supporting vulnerable people and providing essential services in our most isolated and most disadvantaged communities.
“I am delighted that so many Post Offices across the length and breadth of Wales have been able to take advantage of the fund and that it is already making a difference to businesses and communities alike. The businesses we are now supporting are excellent examples of how Post Offices can provide so many other services and I am pleased with the variety of projects underway.
In Glais, the bakery has given the post office another string to its bow. Other projects I have seen include a cyber café, which has not only helped to secure the long term future of the post office, but has provided the community with a valuable resource and made it easier for people who don’t have access to the internet at home to get online.
Huw Roberts, Director of Welsh Affairs for Royal Mail said:
“One in seven of Post Offices have now been directly helped by the Fund. We are delighted to be working with the Welsh Assembly Government on this scheme – it can only be good for the community and the service we provide.”
7 December 2009