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Post Office Closures - Case Study

This one-year research project to assess the social and economic impact of the closure of Post Offices in the county was carried out by us in collaboration with West Sussex County Council.

The Post Office research was commissioned in response to Government plans to close thirty-six Post Offices in West Sussex in 2008.

The aim was to understand the social and economic consequence of this in both urban and rural communities. Whilst there was a widespread belief that there would be significant negative impacts, no evidence was available to support those intuitions. In addition, recommendations were made which suggested how to alleviate the impact of closures on the communities affected.

Impacts

  • As commissioners of the Post Office Closure report, the council also benefited from a high profile as a result of the national coverage the report was given as evidenced directly by the national coverage received.
  • In 2009 the Post Office Closure Report was used, and quoted extensively in a two-page piece focused on Post Office closure in the Mail on Sunday, one of the UK’s leading national newspapers with a readership in excess of 5.5 million.
  • In 2010 the same report was quoted twice on the Daily Mail financial website.
  • The joint working provided an example of how the council and the University were able to work collaboratively to the benefit of the communities they serve.
  • The Post Office report directly informed the council of ways in which they could respond to the concerns of individuals and employers triggered by the Post Office closures.