Jobs at risk as Royal Mail announces close of Portsmouth processing centre

Closing: The Royal Mail office based in Slindon Street, Portsmouth. Picture by: Malcolm Well
Closing: The Royal Mail office based in Slindon Street, Portsmouth. Picture by: Malcolm Well

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PORTSMOUTH’S mail processing centre is to close and relocate out of the city, putting hundreds of jobs in the balance.

Royal Mail said it has decided to relocate its mail processing operation from Slindon Street, Portsmouth, to Southampton as part of a wider, ongoing review of mail centres across the UK.

The move has put up to 360 jobs at risk, and the firm said it cannot comment on what impact workers will face as talks are still on-going.

Postal deliveries for the PO1, PO2, PO3, PO4 and PO5 postcode areas will continue as usual from the delivery office, based at Portsmouth Mail Centre, where 200 people work and whose jobs are safe.

Mail centre manager Stephen Rolfe said: ‘Change is absolutely essential to meet customers’ expectations of a world-class postal service, ensure we operate efficiently and provide a great quality of service in a smaller and radically changing market.

‘We understand any change to our mail centre processing operations in Portsmouth will, unfortunately, impact on some colleagues.

‘Our agreements with the Communication Workers’ Union set out an agreed approach to managing these changes and we will be working very closely with CWU and Unite CMA to support our people during what will, inevitably, be a period of uncertainty.

‘This review is part of the ongoing modernisation and investment in our business. This is vital in order to put Royal Mail on a sound, secure and sustainable footing for the future.’

Operation reviews at the site began in November 2012. Now the decision has been announced, the move will take place over the next 18 months.

Royal Mail said it is now delivering 54 million items a day, compared to 84 million six years ago, and so is reacting to this decrease in demand.