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Monday, 2 December, 2002, 06:22 GMT
Cash for rural post offices
Post box - generic
Scottish services will receive 60m
A multi-million pound package aimed at safeguarding the future of Scotland's rural post offices has been announced by the UK Government.

Ministers said that 60m of a 450m UK allocation would go to the 1,200 rural post offices north of the border.

The announcement came as confirmation of previous media reports that the government was prepared to assist rural services.

There has been concern about the future of rural post offices for some years.


A large proportion of the money will go to our sub-postmasters and mistresses

Anne McGuire. Scotland Office
The worries have been compounded by the reorganisation of the mail and post office network, caused by massive losses.

From April, rural post offices could lose a large amount of turnover when the government starts paying benefits directly into claimants' bank accounts.

The Scotland Office said the funding would help to sustain sub-postmasters' income levels and services in the face of changes across the whole network.

Scotland Office Minister Anne McGuire said: "This is tremendous news for Scotland given that we have a higher number of rural post offices than any other part of the UK.

"A large proportion of the money will go to our sub-postmasters and mistresses.

"This will be of great benefit not only to them, but also to their customers and the local communities who rely on their services."

The government said Scottish services would be allocated 20m each year for the next three years.

See also:

13 Aug 02 | England
31 Jan 02 | Scotland
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