Barclays have announced their plans to close their branch in Cockermouth in 2025.
As Barclays is the last high street bank in the town, this decision will have serious ramifications for our community, reducing the provision of cash and increasing the difficulty of accessing face-to-face banking which I know many rely on. With this closure, the nearest banking service will be the new Banking Hub in Maryport or further afield in Workington, Whitehaven or Carlisle - highly inconvenient for most residents, and impossible for some.
Prior to the notification I had already been working with LINK to review access to cash in our community, and had secured some recommendations for additional services. I am now ramping up the pressure with a view to them opening a new Banking Hub in Cockermouth. I am also working with treasury and the FCA to understand how changes to the current criteria could help communities like ours.
I have been clear - banking services and access to cash are a necessity.
We've already seen the benefits of having a hub in Maryport, providing face-to-face banking for five of the UK's largest banking providers; NatWest, HSBC, Halifax, TSB and Barclays. I was instrumental in securing the Maryport Banking Hub, and won't rest until we have one in Cockermouth.