GOVERNMENT plans to provide a massive £450 million to keep rural post offices open have received an enthusiastic welcome from the Yorkshire branch of the Country Land and Business Association (CLA).
The grant will safeguard a vital element in the rural economy, says the association.
"Keeping rural post offices open isn't just about stamps, pensions and benefit payments," said CLA Yorkshire director Dorothy Fairburn. "They are a lifeline to all rural businesses who make use of a wider range of services such as franked mail, posting parcels or bulkier items and financial transactions.
"Often they are the village shop too, and the post office is essential to its continued viability.
"The rural post office and excellent postal services are vital to the rural economy. Any further decline would halt rural revival and limit farmers' opportunities to diversify their businesses. This is especially true in remoter areas where there is a far greater dependence on such basic resources, so I welcome this news," she added.
The CLA represents around 4,000 businesses in rural Yorkshire.