applying for a licence
a guide to the process of owning a mail centre
read through this site thoroughly
We have tried to make this prospectus as informative and representative as possible, without burdening it with unnecessary detail. Please take the time to browse through the pages, read the questions we are most often asked about owning a Mail Centre, and consider the financial implications that apply to the Licence for the North of England.
If you have the character and skills we require and would like to find out more, please read on.
submit a premises assessment
We need you to tell us about the premises from which you would operate the business; its current postal address and type of property, ownership status, immediate environment and vehicular access for deliveries, all of which will help us to assess its suitability for purpose.
Whether you would run the North of England Licence from a spare bedroom, an office, or a retail property, please take five minutes to complete the short premises assessment form at the foot of this page.
experience it for yourself!
We'll then invite you to visit our Head Office Mail Centre in Pembrokeshire for an 'experience day', so that you can see the business working at first hand, and we get to meet you in an informal interview setting.
Arriving at Philbeach by 7am, you will shadow our original in-house licence until around 10am and observe all mail handling procedures, from log-in and scanning to despatch, in real time. You'll also get to meet the management and support team, watch ProPost in action and see the hardware and equipment we supply. At the end of your visit you will take away a copy of the Licence Agreement to read carefully and, if you are not 100% confident in your understanding, have each clause explained to you by an independent legal professional.
Because of the travelling time, we suggest that you book into a local B & B for the night before. Ask us for a recommendation!
cool down and contemplate
After your visit to Philbeach you will almost certainly be excited, enthused, and keen to grasp the opportunity, but taking on an expost licence is a huge step for you and a major risk for us, which is why we will ask you not to contact us for seven days.
If you decide to go ahead, you'll be making at least a five year commitment, not just to expost, but to every one of your virtual mailbox customers, who will rapidly come to depend upon the address you have provided. Imagine the collective inconvenience and cost involved if hundreds of your customers, many of whom will be abroad, are forced to change their mailing address with their bank, building society, insurance company, HMRC and every one of a dozen or more other correspondents.
You must take time to stop, think, and consider the implications carefully and analytically before committing to the next five years.
made the decision?
take legal advice
At the end of your experience day we will have given you a copy of the Licence Agreement to take away with you. We strongly suggest that you take this contract to a legal professional of your choice, and have them explain each of its terms to you.
select a launch date
Because training is carried out in our working mail centre at Philbeach, it's very important to reserve your place as soon as you make the final decision to proceed. Even though the residential course is limited to yourself, and partner or additional staff member, if appropriate, hotel accommodation is at a premium here in Pembrokeshire, especially during the summer months.
contract & deposit
A non-refundable reservation deposit of £10,000 +VAT (£12,000) is payable on signing the contract. This deposit helps to defray our costs in manufacturing your mailsort furniture, creating the various North of England Mail Centre websites and compiling the rest of the licence package ready for a launch immediately after training. The remaining balance of the Licence fee is payable 30 days prior to launch.
countdown to trading
the schedule leading up to launch
45 days to launch
On receipt of your reservation deposit and signed contract, the north.expost.uk website portal will be built, optimised and manually registered with all of the major search engines. Once the portal is published, it becomes more likely with each passing day that sales enquiries will be received, so we will, wherever possible, pre-sell mailbox accounts in the Northern Mail Centre with deferred activation dates.
The manufacture of your mailsort furniture will be commenced and the rest of your licence package components and consumables ordered.
30 days to launch
We will liaise with the Highways department of your local council to make any additions that are necessary to your address, such as adding a house 'name' and having this included in the Royal Mail and emergency services' databases. Over the following 30 days we will send several letters and packages to the Centre premises in order to familiarise your delivery postmen and women, and courier drivers, with the amended address.
The balance of your Licence fee becomes due.
14 days to launch
All the hardware elements of your licence package, including sundries, consumables, the PC & printers, parcel safe and mailsort furniture will be delivered to your Centre's premises, ready for assembly. The PC is pre-configured to allow us to test your secure connection and access to ProPost, so you must have a live broadband service in place from the day of delivery.
If you do not feel confident in setting up the PC system, assembling the mailsort frames or installing your parcel safe, you will need to make arrangements in advance with an appropriate local tradesperson.
The Social Media campaigns for the North of England will be launched and your Centre will appear as an option in the registration form so that active sales of mailbox accounts can commence. It usually takes around two weeks for mail to begin arriving for new accounts and we want you to be processing post as soon as possible, to support and reinforce your residential training.
7 days to launch
Travel to Philbeach for five days of hands on, practical training. For a day by day breakdown of the training course, read the licence package page.
The new North of England regional Mail Centre is fully open for business!
The property and address from which a Mail Centre operates is a crucially important factor in our decision to allocate a territory, especially one as valuable as the North of England. As a Company, we must commit to supporting your business for at least five years at the premises, so assessing its suitability is the reason why we ask you to provide the following information.