A new banking hub is set to open in Holt.

The centre will provide banking services as well as access to cash, with staff from different banks being available on different days of the week.

The town has been without a bank since Barclays closed its High Street branch in 2022.

The announcement comes after a recent string of branch closures in north Norfolk, which has seen banks pull out of Cromer, North Walsham, Sheringham and Hoveton.

It will be north Norfolk’s first banking hub and the fourth to open in Norfolk - with permanent centres in Downham Market and Harleston, and a temporary one in Watton.

READ MORE: Banking 'hubs' touted as answer to high street exodus

The Holt banking hub will offer a counter service operated by the Post Office where customers of any bank can withdraw and deposit cash, make bill payments and carry out banking transactions.

There will also be private spaces where customers can receive face-to-face support from community bankers from their own bank.

The hub will likely open in 12 months' time once a site is found.

Eastern Daily Press: Holt has not had a bank in the town since Barclays closed its High Street branch in 2022Holt has not had a bank in the town since Barclays closed its High Street branch in 2022 (Image: Google Maps)

The news was announced on Friday (February 9) by LINK, the UK’s cash access and ATM network, which received several community requests calling for a banking hub in the town. 

It will be delivered by Cash Access UK.

North Norfolk MP Duncan Baker said he is “delighted” with the news.

“This is amazing news for my constituents and businesses who depend on having a local banking presence,” Mr Baker said.  

“I will continue working closely with both LINK and the new provider, Cash Access UK. My office is already in the process of setting up a meeting with the new provider to help them find a venue – and to repeat this in other towns.

“This is great news for the people of Holt, and I'm so proud I played a role in securing it for them.”

Eastern Daily Press: North Norfolk MP Duncan BakerNorth Norfolk MP Duncan Baker (Image: Stuart Anderson)

Lloyds closed its Cromer branch in October last year, also announcing it would be shutting its branch in North Walsham on May 29 this year.

Barclays also closed its Hoveton branch last year and is set to pull out of Sheringham on February 21.

 

Banking hubs

There are currently 34 banking hubs across the country.

All the major high street banks are involved, including Bank of Ireland UK, Barclays, Danske Bank, HSBC, Lloyds Bank, NatWest, TSB and Virgin Money.

Steffan Aquarone, the Liberal Democrats’ party prospective candidate for north Norfolk, said: “So many bank branches have been taken away from our high streets.

“It's causing immense inconvenience and real problems for local people and businesses.

"We’ve had to fight hard to make the case. Nearly 300 residents posted their thoughts to me on postcards, which we sent to the people who run banking hubs.

Eastern Daily Press: Steffan Aquarone (left) and Tim Adams, leader of North Norfolk District Council (right), met with senior managers at LINKSteffan Aquarone (left) and Tim Adams, leader of North Norfolk District Council (right), met with senior managers at LINK (Image: Steffan Aquarone)

“So many decisions these days get made by people in cities who don't understand the way rural communities work.

“It's a huge credit to LINK and their staff that they were prepared to make multiple trips to north Norfolk to understand the situation on the ground. To their credit, they took our calls seriously.

“I'm thrilled with today's announcement. Local people need access to banks.

“It isn’t reasonable to expect elderly, vulnerable, immobile or time-poor residents to travel to Norwich.”