Business leaders and local councillors have spoken of the potentially ‘devasting blow’ to Knaresborough, following the announcement of bank closures across the district.
The town’s High Street branch of Barclays is among three scheduled to close it’s door across the district, alongside Pateley Bridge and Boroughbridge. The Knarsborough branch is currently expected to close on Friday, May 17.
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In a report published online the bank has said the main reasons for the closure were transactions falling over the past two years, and that 78 per cent of customers used other ways of banking. It also said ‘only 78 customers used the town’s branch exclusively.’
With the loss of services, Stephen Teggin, President of the Chamber of Trade said the decision was ‘horrendous news for the town.’
He said: “That they could up and leave is just a devastating blow to Knaresborough.It seems to be only the main cities and towns which seem to have banks staying open at the moment.
He added: “It’s horrendous that this has happened, which also means the loss of another ATM as well. We often have people coming in large numbers for event days in Knaresborough, and we want to see more of these happening. But the machines can quickly run out of cash, and that can effect the takings at businesses in the town.”
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Knaresborough Town Councillors Ed Darling and David Goode have both said the decision ‘will leave the town worse off. While urging the bank to reconsider the move Coun Darling added attempts are being made to see ATMs, lost over years, replaced in the town.
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He said: “The news that Barclays is to leave Knaresborough is disappointing and it will leave our community and our town centre worse off. Over the last couple of years we have already seen the closures of three banks in our town centre and now to have a fourth leave will impact on services for residents and visitors.”
The ‘frustration’ over the loss of the banks will be felt across the town, says Coun Goode, with more pressure on the town’s Post Office for services and forcing residents to travel out of the town.
He said: “This will impact many residents, particularly the elderly, those with mobility issues but also young families on low incomes. Not everyone can just jump on a bus to Harrogate, and it will make things more difficult for the businesses community.”