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Barclays in High Street, Rainham, closes on October 15

The future of a landmark town centre building remains in doubt as its long-time tenant moves out.

Barclays Bank will be leaving its branch on the corner of High Street and Station Road, Rainham.

Barclays Bank, London Road, Rainham. Picture: Peter Still
Barclays Bank, London Road, Rainham. Picture: Peter Still

The multi-national is shutting up shop this coming Friday – 102 years after it opened as the London and Provincial Bank, which became part of Barclays in 1918.

Meanwhile, a councillor says he is applying pressure on Medway Council to make sure it is brought back into use as soon as possible.

Tory Martin Potter said: "The building is iconic to Rainham. Therefore, it is really important it comes back into use with an offer that supports the vitality of the area.

"I have tasked the council’s director of place to see it brought back into use as a priority."

The building is owned by an independent landlord so the council can only attempt to influence them to bring it back into use.

Cllr Martin Potter
Cllr Martin Potter

Barclays wrote to customers in July blaming falling numbers of users and an increase in online banking for the decison.

A spokesman said: "The decision to close a branch is never an easy one.

"However, customers are increasingly using alternatives to branches to do their banking. As a result, we are seeing a sustained fall in branch visits across the UK."

Cllr Potter added: "It is is a great shame but not entirely unexpected as Barclays had already severely reduced the opening times and main customers had voted with their feet or just bank online.

"Of course in Rainham we do have many elderly residents, some who are not tech-savvy and have faced a choice to change banks or travel to Chatham.

"Fortunately we do have Natwest and Nationwide in the town and they have fully staffed branches.

"Barclays customers can also use the Post Office for everyday banking, so that is another option."

This is not the first Medway branch to close with their Strood business closing in May.

The Barclays spokesman confirmed they will not be making anyone redundant and those who worked in Rainham will be offered jobs elsewhere.

The branch made the headlines in March last year when activists superglued it locks causing chaos for staff and users.

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