Midsteeple Quarter has joined fo rces with Barclays to ensure the bank can retain face-to-face services in Dumfries town centre.
Barclays announced earlier this summer that its current branch, in Castle Street, will be closing in October.
But it pledged to maintain a presence in the community – and that will be at 113 High Street, The Smithy.
From Tuesday October 17, Barclays will operate a Local Hub in the community-owned building every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, between 9am and 5pm.
From Friday until Monday each week, The Smithy will remain available for hire as a pop-up shop unit and events space.
Midsteeple Quarter Executive Director Scott Mackay said: “Working alongside Barclays, this is an agreement which will deliver real community benefits.
“Firstly, it secures in-person services from Barclays in the centre of Dumfries, which are vitally important. We know how much people locally were keen to ensure they were not lost.
“Secondly, it keeps The Smithy available at its most popular times for pop-up shops and events, offering great opportunities for people and organisations.
“At the same time, the certainty of regular rental income for three days each week gives us greater scope to consider how we can even more effectively use the space in the rest of the week to provide a springboard for local people starting new enterprises, which is so important to the future of our town centre and a key part of our community benefit society’s mission. Depending on their circumstances, we may be able to agree individual support packages to help.”
The Barclays Local will be staffed by familiar faces from the current branch. Services will include:
- Making a plan for your money
- Home buying or moving
- Reducing your outgoings
- Digital banking and staying safe online
People will be able to ask staff questions about everyday banking. They will also be able to show what customers can do via the Barclays app. There will be no cash or counter service.
Midsteeple Quarter is a community benefit society owned by – and acting for – the people of Dumfries.
It is bringing High Street buildings into community ownership as part of a long-term vision to revamp them and breathe fresh life into the town centre.
That work is currently most visible on the site of the former Baker’s Oven at 135-139 High Street where a groundbreaking transformation project to create Midsteeple Quarter’s first wave of new homes and enterprise spaces is underway.