A temporary banking hub has opened in a town which is losing its final bank branch.

The Horwich banking hub is now open at Craven House on Lee Lane and will provide residents and businesses with basic banking and cash services.

Open from Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm, it will offer a counter service operated by the Post Office, where customers of all major banks and building societies can carry out regular cash transactions.

It also offers a community banker service, where customers can talk to their own bank about more complicated issues.

Community bankers will work on rotation, with a different bank available on each day of the week.

On Mondays Barclays will operate form the premises, NatWest staff will be there on Tuesdays, Wednesdays will see Halifax services offered and Thursdays Santander staff will be there.

Cash Access UK, who have set up the hub, said it can confirm it has found a suitable property in the town to provide a permanent home for the banking hub and hopes to be able to reveal its location soon.

The hub will remain open until the permanent hub is up and running. In January, 2023, NatWest announced it intended to close the final high street bank in Horwich, their branch on Lee Lane.

At the time they said the branch would be replaced by a banking hub.

Horwich has a population of around 20,000.

Gareth Oakley, CEO at Cash Access UK: “I’m happy to announce today that we are opening the temporary banking hub in Horwich.

“It means that local customers and businesses can access cash and face-to-face services, while we progress the permanent home.”

Chris Green, MP for Bolton West: “I am delighted that the temporary banking hub in Horwich is now open.

“It will be a valuable addition to our community and a real help to local residents and businesses who need access to banking services while work is ongoing to provide a permanent hub in the town.” Cash Access UK is a not-for-profit company owned and funded by nine major banks.

They provide shared services – available to the customers of the nine firms, in communities where they are needed most. An estimated five to six million adults in the UK say they rely on cash in their day-to-day lives and that digital or online solutions don’t yet work for them.

NatWest announced early in 2023 that the Horwich branch had been earmarked for closure, while Westhoughton already lost its last surviving bank, a branch of Lloyds on Market Street, in 2022.

Last month, Cash Access UK said they were already looking at two possible locations for banking hubs in the Bolton West area.

A banking hub will also be set up in Westhoughton to make up for the loss.