Delight as last bank petition gathers pace

Villagers turned out in force to oppose plans to close the NatWest branch in Knott End

Villagers turned out in force to oppose plans to close the NatWest branch in Knott End

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Campaigners battling to save the last bank in a Wyre village say they are “delighted” with the support they have received.

A petition calling on NatWest to reverse its decision to close its Knott End branch has now attracted more than 1,200 signatures.

We are up to 1,200 signatures but we could do with a heck of a lot more

Since The Gazette reported on the public backlash over the plans – which go back on the bank’s earlier pledge to stay open wherever it is the “last bank in town”, the villagers’ campaign has nit national headlines.

Hairdresser Lea Hornby, who set up the petition, said more signatures are still needed if the campaign is to succeed.

She said: “It has been absolutely mad – the response has ben amazing.

“We are up to 1,200 signatures but we could do with a heck of a lot more.”

The villagers have put copies of the petition in shops around Knott End and a Facebook group, Save Our Bank - NatWest Knott End, has been set up.

Ms Hornby added: “I am so proud to be a Knott End villager, I really am.

“The amount of people that have come out an supported this is amazing.”

Now she hopes the scale of the protest at NatWest’s decision will force bosses to reconsider.

She added: “I don’t think they will do anything.

“But I would hope they would now they have been made to look a bit silly.”

NatWest featured its Knott End branch in a television advert from 2011, in which it vowed to “continue to provide banking services wherever we’re the last bank in town”.

The bank says the number of customers using the branch has fallen by 21 per cent since 2011.

It added that certain services will still be available at the local Post Office and its ATM will remain.

The branch is due to close on September 15.

Pressure builds on bank bosses to reverse ‘difficult’ decision to close

NatWest bosses say the decision to close the Knott End branch was due to a sharp fall in the number of customers using it, as more people bank online.

A spokesman said: “We have taken the difficult decision to close the NatWest Knott End-on-Sea branch on September 15.

“We are working hard to ensure there are a number of alternative ways for people in the area to continue to bank with us.”

However the move has angered villagers who say the closure of the branch will put other business under threat as people go elsewhere to do their shopping.

A petition calling on NatWest to rethink its plans is available at shops throughout the village.

An online version of the petition, titled “Keep this branch open” is available at www.change.org