Page last updated at 11:21 GMT, Monday, 3 August 2009 12:21 UK

Get your post from the local pub

Publicity photo: Get your parcel from the pub
The first delivery arrived last week

Waiting at home for a parcel to arrive may be a favourite excuse for being late to work but a new scheme hopes to provide a tempting alternative.

Five hundred British pubs have signed up to the Use Your Local scheme, in which landlords will take delivery of a parcel for you.

It is a fresh attempt to attract new customers as the pub trade struggles.

The British Beer and Pub Association has revealed that 2,377 pubs have closed in the last 12 months.

Package problems

We've already had a wedding booking as a result, because the couple saw our function room online
Adam Griffiths, The Gun Inn, Hollingworth, Cheshire

Stuart Mills had the idea while he was working at brewery Scottish and Newcastle and, having successfully pitched it to his employers, he is now busy establishing it around the UK in partnership with them.

"With the rise in mail order and e-commerce, having things delivered to the place where you are is a significant problem," he told the BBC.

"I have first-hand experience of the pub trade and first-hand experience of the problem - this seemed like a fantastic fix."

Covering the costs

Each parcel is insured up to the value of £300 in the event of any damage occurring during its time at the pub.

However it is up to the sender whether they accept the pub as a secure delivery address. The pub will keep packages for 21 days and send three e-mail reminders to the intended recipient during that time.

The parcel itself must be no bigger than airline hand luggage.

While it is a free service for punters, pub landlords must pay a £50 annual subscription to join the Use Your Local network online.

For landlord Adam Griffiths at The Gun Inn in Hollingworth, Cheshire, it is already paying dividends.

"You can list everything the pub offers on the website - we've already had a wedding booking as a result, because the couple saw our function room online," he says.



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