CALLS have been made for a banking hub to be brought to Cockermouth, after an announcement was made that Barclays would be closed - leaving no major banks in the town.

Barclays announced on Friday that its Cockermouth branch, which is located on Main Street, will close on or before Friday, January 17 2025 at 12pm.

The bank said that changes in customer habits had contributed to the decision, saying that now just 35 customers use this branch regularly as the only way to do their banking.

They added that 87 per cent of people who use the Cockermouth branch have also banked using the app, online and by phone in 2022.

Since the announcement of the closure - which leaves only the Cumberland Building Society in Cockermouth, plus fortnightly visits from the Lloyds mobile bank - calls have been made for a banking hub in the town, similar to the one in Maryport.

Workington MP Mark Jenkinson has created an e-petition to show the community support for a banking hub in Cockermouth.

Mr Jenkinson said: "As Barclays is the last high street bank in the town, this decision will have serious ramifications for our community, reducing the provision of cash and increasing the difficulty of accessing face-to-face banking which I know many rely on.

"With this closure, the nearest banking service will be the new banking hub in Maryport or further afield in Workington, Whitehaven or Carlisle - highly inconvenient for most residents, and impossible for some.

"We've already seen the benefits of having a hub in Maryport, providing face-to-face banking for five of the UK's largest banking providers; NatWest, HSBC, Halifax, TSB and Barclays."

Mayor of Cockermouth, Julie Laidlow said: "To be honest, it's sad news, but it hasn't come as any surprise, because the rest of the banks have all gone, it was only a matter of time before Barclays followed.

"I would really support people's idea of having a banking hub in town. When NatWest went that would have been a perfect locale, because a lot of people, a lot of elderly people don't use the internet and they haven't got online banking. What are they going to do?

"I know there's a post office, but people like to go into a bank and speak to people in a bank about things."