WELLINGTON’s replacement banking hub service is set to open on Monday, March 18.

The news, which comes just days before the town’s last bank closes its doors, will be a relief to local residents and traders who feared Wellington would be left without a banking service.

Work by contractors has been underway since February to convert empty town council offices into a new hub which will provide services to customers of all banks.

The initiative, which is led by charity Cash Access UK, has seen similar hubs set up across the country to provide a substitute service when local high street banks shut up shop.

The hub will predominantly be manned by Post Office staff, with each of the major high street banks also providing a specialist member of staff one day a week on a rota to deal with more complex queries.

The banking hub will be housed in the former district council community office in Fore Street, which is being bought by Wellington Town Council as it expands the services it provides and takes on more staff.

Lloyds had planned to close its Fore Street branch in September 2023, but stipulated it would remain open for a further six months if a replacement service had not been established by that time.

Delays in setting up the hub meant Lloyd’s closure extended to March 25, 2024 - with the new hub being set up in the nick of time and saving the town from losing banking facilities.