Ideas sought for use of former bank building in Much Wenlock

Residents in Much Wenlock are being asked what the building of their former bank should be used for.

The Barclays Bank branch closed in 2018
The Barclays Bank branch closed in 2018

Townfolk were left without a bank when Barclays announced it was closing its branch in the town in 2018.

But in order to retain the cash machine, Much Wenlock Town Council bought 10, High Street and is now collecting ideas on what the premises should be used for.

A consultation running until October 31 intends to collate proposals before a working group recommends its preferred option.

Town mayor, Councillor Dan Thomas, said: "The town council bought the building, which includes the flat upstairs, and now we're just asking the public what their ideas are for what it could be used for.

"Everything's on the table at the moment. We could let it out to a commercial business for a shop, move the town council offices there, or I think, a prefered option is to make it a building for community use.

"We've had a few good responses but we really would like to hear people's options. It doesn't have to be just Much Wenlock residents who take part – if someone out of town recommends something which will benefit the town of course we'll be interested."

Following the closure of the branch in 2018, a cash machine was reinstated in time for the Christmas fair to allow traders and customers access to cash.

Councillor Thomas said: "Much Wenlock has always heavily relied on cash, we often get market traders in and there were a lot of places which only accepted cash.

"It has changed this year due to the pandemic, but it was crucial for our economy to have access to a bank so we wanted to buy the premises and keep a cash machine there.

"Shortly after the bank closed we had the machine open in time for the Christmas fair – it was out within a few days.

"It's the only free cash machine in Much Wenlock and we often hear it's in the top three busiest points in Shropshire."

Councillor Thomas added: "We're really interested in everyone's views and we'd love to hear what people's thoughts are. It's an exciting time. We want to try and cover the cost of the building so if we can do that and make it a good public use building that would be ideal. We would also consider running it as a loss leader if it benefitted the town greatly enough."

To submit an idea, contact the town clerk at townclerk@muchwenlock-tc.gov.uk

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