Stamp of approval for postmasters

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POLITICS…
Scottish Post Offices have gained support from a £1 million scheme.

The Scottish Government’s Post Office Diversification Fund will help launch new business activities which are built around post offices, given their vital role in supporting communities and local economies.

Applications for the scheme opened in July with 49 Post Offices in 22 areas bidding successfully, receiving awards of up to £25,000.

Examples of diversification schemes approved include setting up an internet café and selling local produce.

Enterprise Minister Jim Mather said:

“This fund presents an excellent opportunity for Scottish Post Offices to play an increasingly important role at the heart of communities. In our budget for this year, the Scottish Government prioritised economic recovery and, recognising the significance of our post office network, established a new diversification fund.

“Postmasters have come forward with a variety of innovative proposals to develop new revenue streams such as retailing, selling different goods, or providing a business service not already available in their locality.

“This initiative builds on our comprehensive support for small firms in Scotland. Through measures such as the Small Business Bonus Scheme, we are helping to strengthen small firms, including the local post office network, enabling them to go from strength to strength and play their part in building strong and sustainable economic growth.”

Mervyn Jones, Commercial Director of the National Federation of Subpostmasters, said:

“This announcement of successful applicants by the Scottish Government is most welcome. It means that many subpostmasters can now invest in their businesses which will help them make their Post Offices more viable. The success of this scheme demonstrates the commitment both the Scottish Government and our subpostmasters have in maintaining this vital community service.”

Paula Vennells, Managing Director of the Post Office, said:

“Post Office Ltd is delighted that so many of our subpostmasters have applied to the Scottish Government fund to help them diversify and build footfall in their retail businesses, which in turn will support Post Office services. Post Office branches are recognised by their customers as vital to each community and we hope that through this scheme the successful applicants will be able to increase their viability in many locations in Scotland.”