Calls to save 'lifeline' Virgin Money branch at The Nook in South Shields from closure

Colin Campbell (L) has launched a petition campaign to help save the closure of Virgin Money Bank at the Nook, with supporters Stella Campbell, Lol Campbell and Doris Osmane (R)Colin Campbell (L) has launched a petition campaign to help save the closure of Virgin Money Bank at the Nook, with supporters Stella Campbell, Lol Campbell and Doris Osmane (R)
Colin Campbell (L) has launched a petition campaign to help save the closure of Virgin Money Bank at the Nook, with supporters Stella Campbell, Lol Campbell and Doris Osmane (R) | JPIMedia
A petition has been launched in a bid to save The Nook’s last bank standing from closure.

It comes as part of a major restructuring process after Virgin Money was acquired by Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank in 2018.

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Banks in Low Fell and Gateshead will also close later this year, while seven branches in the North East will merge with other Yorkshire Bank or Virgin Money stores within half a mile.

Colin Campbell.Colin Campbell.
Colin Campbell. | JPIMedia Resell

The branch on Fowler Street in South Shields town centre will remain open.

But South Tyneside Virgin Money customer, Colin Campbell says The Nook branch is a “lifeline” for elderly residents and those with mobility issues.

“That branch is majorly used by people with disabilities and mobility problems,” said Mr Campbell, who uses the bank most days.

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“The nearest branch of any bank will be two miles away in the town centre - impossible for those who are dependent on disability scooters.

The Virgin Money Bank at The Nook .The Virgin Money Bank at The Nook .
The Virgin Money Bank at The Nook . | JPIMedia Resell

“If necessary the branch in the town centre should be the one to go, it is surrounded by ATMs and other leading banks and building societies, it would not be missed.”

Colin has requested six weeks from the company to attempt to save the branch.

He has launched a petition and is distributing posters raising awareness of how people can contact the company to submit a response.

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He added: “It’s more than just a bank for most of its customers, it is a lifeline.”

A number of residents have also contacted South Shields MP Emma Lewell-Buck to express their concerns over the closure, she commented: “We’re seeing a lot of areas lose banks now and they are a vital service for a lot of people, particularly the elderly.

“Virgin has assured us that they are writing to their customers and outlining different ways that they can do their banking, but it’s very disappointing for local people that they have chosen to close this branch.”

According to the company the Prince Edward Road branch has seen customer numbers fall, with a 25% decrease in counter transactions in the last five years.

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In a statement put out by the company, Lucy Dimes, group business transformation officer at Virgin Money UK, previously said: “The decision to close branches is never taken lightly. The changes are focused on consolidating branches where there is another Clydesdale Bank / Yorkshire Bank / Virgin Money location within half a mile as well as closing a number of branches to reflect changes to customer demand.

“As our customers change the way they want to bank with us, we are evolving the role of our stores - investing in all of the ways that customers are choosing to bank with us, including a reimagined Virgin Money presence on the high street.”

The bank has said a range of support services will be available to help customers during the transition.

If you will be affected by the closure contact Colin Campbell on [email protected] or 07715800239.