More pubs could soon house postal services following the announcement of the closure of 2,500 post offices across the UK by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). The government has unveiled plans to set up 500 “innovative” post office outlets, which will be based in venues such as pubs and community centres. The new sub-post offices will be based on previous trials carried out by the Post Office, such as a project in Kent where Shepherd Neame, the brewer and pub operator, has launched a mobile post office scheme in five of its pubs. Local customers can access services provided by post offices through a specially installed broadband connection. The Post Office, which is currently redesigning its services so that they can be combined with other facilities, told M&C Report that the new outlets would be mutually beneficial for both parties. Pub is the Hub, a scheme to rescue rural pubs and services that was launched in 2001 by Prince Charles, has already rescued 100 post offices by opening them inside rural pubs. Some of the main pubcos, including Enterprise Inns, Punch Taverns, Scottish & Newcastle and Wolverhampton & Dudley, have joined the campaign and launched small post offices in their pubs, which offer 80% of basic services. John Longden, campaign director of Pub is the Hub, said: “Committed pub licensees are offering to support local services by allowing a sub-post office to open inside their premises. “At the same time as supporting the community, the pubs are also receiving the benefits in terms of increased food and drink revenue.” Pub is the Hub is hoping to roll the post office-pub programme out to other rural and urban pubs and estimates that it can oversee the opening of at least several hundred more over the next few years. It is also supporting other combinations, including combining pubs with shops, bakeries and IT services. Mark Hastings, director of communications of the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) said: “It is both a lifeline for rural pubs and post offices that face closure and has proved to be a viable option for some communities, although it won’t work everywhere.”