Closing East Lothian bank could be bought by community in bid to rejuvenate town centre

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The last bank in the town is set to shut down.

An East Lothian community could buy their town’s last bank branch after it was earmarked for closure.

Dunbar’s Bank of Scotland is set to shut for the last time on May 21 amid cutbacks by the bank nationwide.

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But locals hope to keep the building at 95 High Street at the heart of the town by creating a ‘vibrant community hub and coworking centre’.

Bank of Scotland in DunbarBank of Scotland in Dunbar
Bank of Scotland in Dunbar | Google

It is hoped such a development would help to rejuvenate the centre of the town by bringing more footfall to the area.

Sustaining Dunbar has started an online survey to shore up support for a Community Right to Buy bid which would give it a chance to buy the building before it hits the open market.

The group said: “We believe that remarkable things can happen when people gather together.

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“We think that such a community hub in the town centre would be a significant boost to Dunbar, would bring more people to the High Street and raise awareness of what locally owned shops have to offer.

“Many people are now working from home for at least part of the working week, often in less than ideal and isolated situations.

“Coworking spaces provide a well equipped and supportive work environment that can nurture new connections and the development of new initiatives and collaborations.”

Explaining why they wanted to change the building’s function, they added: “The closure of the Bank of Scotland will leave Dunbar without a branch of any bank and just two ATMs (at Morrisons at the south end of Dunbar High Street and within the High Street Co-op).

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“Future banking needs will be met by the Post Office and by the mobile RBS bank which visits Bleachingfield for one hour each week.

“Having looked into establishing a local banking hub, it looks unlikely to be viable at the current time but we are keen to keep this under review.”

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