Plaid Cymru Member of Parliament for Dwyfor Meirionnydd Liz Saville Roberts has welcomed news that plans are afoot to install an additional twenty-four-hour external ATM in Blaenau Ffestiniog, following a hard-fought local campaign.

The Plaid Cymru MP along with Blaenau Ffestiniog Councillors Mandy Williams-Davies and Annwen Daniels led the fight to improve cash withdrawal facilities in Blaenau Ffestiniog following HSBC’s decision to close the last bank on the high street in September, despite fierce opposition by the local community.

The twenty-four-hour ATM will be located outside the town’s Co-Operative supermarket.

Liz Saville Roberts MP said,

“I’m pleased plans are in progress which means the people of Blaenau will be able to benefit from an additional twenty-four-hour external ATM, something we’ve been lobbying hard for since HSBC closed its doors to the public in September, leaving the town with no bank.”

“Local people were left high and dry when HSBC took the decision to close their branch. The situation was further compounded when problems arose withdrawing cash from the town’s three ATMs, only one of which was accessible twenty-four-hours a day.”

“In a community with a population of nearly five thousand coupled with a burgeoning tourism industry, it’s absolutely vital that people are able to withdraw cash at their convenience. So many rural towns are suffering similar problems, where accessing cash is fast becoming a luxury.”

“I understand the ATM industry is moving towards facilitating the depositing as well as the withdrawal of cash and I look forward to the day when rural communities can benefit from this new service. There also needs to be a root and branch review of ATM business rates to make installing these machines more viable.”

“I’d like to thank the Co-Op for their forthcoming approach and for responding so positively to the concerns of the community, and to everyone who’s contributed to the campaign to secure this result, whether that be through writing letters, signing petitions or voicing their concerns.”

Cllr Mandy Williams-Davies and Cllr Annwen Daniels said,

“We welcome the fact that a solution looks very likely at last and that a new external ATM will be installed.”

“Discussions between us and bank representatives have been on-going since the bank closure announcement back in June. We thank Co-op for their collaboration and agreeing to provide an external ATM outside the shop. This is good news for local residents, local businesses and tourists who visit the area.”