DAWLISH is to get a new banking hub following months of lobbying by traders, councillors and MP Anne Marie Morris.
LINK, the UK’s cash access and ATM network, has confirmed it has agreed to site a hub in the town.
Announced today, the decision means Dawlish will become only the ninth such hub in the country.
Representatives from LINK visited Dawlish a few weeks ago, after Ms Morris questioned finance chiefs in Parliament about access to banking and free cash machines in Dawlish.
There are currently eight banking hubs up and running across the UK including Brixham.
And it has recommended additional hubs in four other locations including Teignmouth where its remaining bank, Lloyds, is to close next year.
Today’s news follows the recent announcement from the Government to ensure cash access is protected. Alongside LINK’s existing commitments that every high street gets free access to cash, new laws will make it mandatory for consumers and businesses to be able to withdraw and deposit cash.
In 2021, the banking industry agreed that following the closure of any bank branch, LINK will identify whether a community requires further cash services. Additionally, any community without a branch can contact LINK directly and ask to be assessed for support.
This was the case in Dawlish where the Chamber of Trade and the town council asked for the town to be considered.
Banking hubs are a shared banking space, similar to a traditional bank branch, but available to everyone.
The hub will consist of a counter service operated by Post Office employees, where customers of any bank can withdraw and deposit cash, make bill payments and carry out regular banking transactions.
And there will be private spaces where customers can speak to community bankers from their own bank for more complicated matters that require specialist knowledge or privacy.
The banks work on a rotating basis, so there will be staff from different banks available on different days.
They also offer deposit services, and Cash at the Till, which allows retailers to provide free access to cash to consumers, is beginning to appear across the country.
Over the next few weeks, talks will take place with the community to look for suitable potential sites.
It is likely to open in 2024.
Ms Morris said: ‘This is fantastic news for Dawlish! ‘The continuation of face-to-face banking services will make a huge difference for small business and the local community.
‘Banking hubs allow for more than one bank to be represented in one location, so greater access can be shared by more people.
‘I know how hard community groups have worked to make a banking hub a reality in Dawlish - a great success story.’
Mayor of Dawlish Cllr Rosie Dawson said: ‘This is fantastic news for the businesses and residents of Dawlish parish, after much work from the Chamber of Trade and Town Council staff.
‘We are thrilled to see this work pay off for the benefit of many, ensuring Dawlish continues to thrive on inclusivity, community and local trading.’
Adrian Roberts, Chief Commercial Officer, LINK: ‘It was great to visit Dawlish recently and meet the local community.
‘We’re pleased to recommend the new hub and we look forward to it serving the community when it opens next year.’