A Wiltshire councillor has offered a positive update on the return of in person banking to Royal Wootton Bassett High Street.

The last bank in town, Lloyds Bank, closed its doors for the final time on December 6, 2022, meaning the nearest alternative is currently almost six miles away in Swindon.

But plans for a new High Street banking hub, which will house staff from different banks rotating with each other to offer their services on different days, are now well underway according to councillor Jacqui Lay.

Last year the post office pledged to create 13 new banking hubs and Cllr Lay revealed a national agent had been appointed to investigate the possibility of a site in the town.

Now Cllr Lay has confirmed negotiations are ongoing after an undisclosed potential High Street location was identified, and the hub could be opened this year.

In a statement on Facebook, she said: “Since the announcement of the closure of the last bank standing in Royal Wootton Bassett, there has been some work going on to bring a general banking hub to the town.

“The latest update is that potentially a new location has been found where a hub could operate from in the High Street and negotiations are ongoing.

“This could be opened later this year. Once I have more information on this, I will let people know.”

While Cllr Lay is not yet able to reveal the location of the potential new banking hub, she told this paper she is fully supportive of the project.

“There are vulnerable people in our society, who are not necessarily old and might be vulnerable young peple, who need to talk face to face with somebody”, she said.

“If you’re deaf or have challenges with communication you do need to talk face to face with somebody and have that relationship with your banker.

“I think it’s really important to have a bank locally because everyone I talk to is reluctant to go to Swindon… Royal Wootton Bassett is more convenient.”

Cllr Lay realised the importance of in person banking when she had to setup an executor account following her mother’s death.

“I had no idea what I was doing so to be able to go in and talk to somebody was great and is what people need”, she added.

Lloyds Bank currently offer their own hub in the Lime Kiln Leisure Centre from 10am to 4pm on Thursdays while a mobile banking unit visits Cricklade every fortnight.