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Tuesday, 13 August, 2002, 16:48 GMT 17:48 UK
Cash for 'post offices in pubs'
A village post office
Many village post offices suffer from ageing premises
Enterprising business people are being offered cash to open new post offices in Leicestershire.

They can claim grants of up to 5,000 for setting up new shops in places such as pubs or village halls.

The money is intended to encourage new branches in rural communities.

Cash is also available for existing shop owners to improve their premises to make their businesses more attractive.

The money is being offered to try and reverse the long term decline of village post offices.


We are especially interested in new and creative ideas on how to provide a community with this service

Steve Turner, Rural Community Council

The Rural Community Council, part of the Rural Partnership, is co-ordinating the grant scheme.

Steve Turner, rural officer for the community council, said: "We had provided help for other village shops but we thought the post offices needed more help than anyone.

"Many have suffered from customers going elsewhere for banking and stamps.

"We are especially interested in new and creative ideas on how to provide a community with this service.

"If people are interested, we will send a retail consultant to look at how to improve the business."

To be eligible for a grant, the post office must serve a population of fewer than 10,000 people.

Last year, 12 post offices closed in the county.


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31 Jan 02 | Scotland
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