Banking Hubs remain on track for two sites in the borough after Cash Access UK chose potential properties in the two towns.

There is only one bank between the towns of Horwich and Westhoughton after the closure of a number of them over the years.

This one bank, the branch of NatWest on Lee Lane, is itself in line for closure after an announcement at the start of this year. The announcement was followed by a search for a site for a Banking Hub in Horwich with a counter service provided by the Post Office and a face-to-face service provided by some of the biggest banks on a rotation.

Over the summer this was followed by a search for a site for a Banking Hub in Westhoughton which is without any service at all after the loss of Lloyds Bank on Market Street in 2022.

Melissa Whittaker, Community Engagement Manager for Cash Access UK, said the hubs remain on track for two sites.

It takes on average 12 months to open the hubs, a target the organisation hopes to hit after it chose potential properties.

Ms Whittaker said: "We've identified a potential location for both Banking Hubs which is a significant step.

"We are working our way through a journey which takes on average 12 months and as soon as the leases are signed on both premises this is when we can confirm the locations. We are looking forward to bringing cash and face-to-face banking services to these communities."

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Ms Whittaker set out some requirements of the search for a site.

She said: "It is crucial it is in a prime location which is accessible. 

"We look for buildings close to a car park, for example, which is all on a level footing if possible. 

"We consider the old bank buildings but sometimes these are too big or in need of a lot of work. 

"Typically, premises need to be around 1000 sq ft, although we go slightly bigger and slightly smaller in some locations."

Bolton West MP Chris Green, whose constituency covers the towns, welcomed the update as a big boost.

Mr Green said: "My constituents are upset about the withdrawal of banking services from our high streets.

"I took this up with the banks and the Chancellor of the Exchequer and it is good to see, with local support, we are going to be getting two Banking Hubs in the constituency."

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This article was written by Jack Tooth. To contact him, email or follow @JTRTooth on Twitter.