Opposition grows to Middleton Yorkshire Bank closure

Middleton Yorkshire Bank
Closure: Middleton’s Yorkshire Bank

Opposition is growing to plans to close Middleton’s last remaining bank.

As revealed on South Leeds Life a fortnight ago, Yorkshire Bank’s plans to close its Middleton Circus branch have already drawn a petition with more than 250 signatures from concerned local residents who say they’re unable to get to other branches.

The bank, which has had a branch in Middleton for over 50 years, has stated that a combination of its lease at the property ending and declining use means it will close on June 20.

Leeds Central MP Hilary Benn
Leeds Central MP Hilary Benn

The campaigners now have the backing of their local MP Hilary Benn, who commented on our original post:

“Thanks for organising this – and happy to offer my full support to the petition. We need to have the bank in Middleton, and we should say with one voice – keep it local!”

The Yorkshire Evening Post have since carried a story on the petition, with Cllr Kim Groves adding her support to the campaign.

A Yorkshire Bank spokeswoman told the YEP : “We’ve advised customers of the alternatives available to them including the three branches which are within a three mile radius of Middleton.”

A recent meeting of the Middleton Life Local history project at Tenants Hall Enterprise Centre saw members also voice concerns about the closure, refuting the bank’s assertions about declining use and calling for a vital local facility to be kept open. One member said:

“There’s always a queue when I go there. A hole in the wall isn’t a bank – you can’t pay bills there and I’m worried about whether it’s safe. If you’re older you can’t be catching a bus to Hunslet or Morley if you have a scooter. We’ve had a bank here fir decades – it’s a community service.”

South Leeds Life’s Jeremy Morton recently wrote about banks closures in Middleton and Hunslet.


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One Reply to “Opposition grows to Middleton Yorkshire Bank closure”

  1. I was sorry to hear Yorkshire Bank’s Middleton Park Circus branch is due to close in June 2013, as I have had an account with Yorkshire Bank for years.

    My parents opened an account for me with the Yorkshire Bank in Hunslet, which was at the junction of Hunslet Road and Goodman Street, Hunslet, Leeds 10, when I was 1 year old – way back in 1950. My father deposited 1/- (5p) in my account. I suppose, technically, that account is still open, as it was never closed however, as I misplaced my bank book a long time ago, and that branch closed sometime in the 1960s, my bank account records for that account might have been lost and the account closed.

    When I when to live in Middleton, as a lad, in 1959, I can remember a green grocer’s shop called Brown’s, on Middleton Ring Road, just off Middleton Park Circus. At that time the trams were still operating and used to run past the near-by Middleton Arms public house.

    Round about 1970, by which time I was married, I opened a savings account with Yorshire Bank, which was then situated in the former Brown’s green grocer’s shop, Middleton. Sometime in the 1980s, I then opened a current account with the same Yorkshire Bank branch, as a requirement of my former employer, Leeds City Council, who had started to pay its employees’ weekly wages, or salaries, directly into their current accounts.

    At a later date, ( I can’t remember when) Yorkshire bank moved a few yards away to their present premises on Middleton Park Circus. And to this day I have held an account with them ever since.

    As I live in Belle Isle, Town Street, Middleton, I find the Middleton branch is within easy walking distance and the staff are quite helpful and friendly. If this branch closes down, I shall have to use the Yorkshire Bank in Hunslet, which is about 2 miles away from where I live. It won’t be too inconvenient for me, at the moment, to get there as I can get on a bus and use my bus pass. However, for customers living nearer to the Middlleton branch, I think travelling to the Hunslet branch, or elsewhere, could be more of a problem, involving their having to pay bus fares, which aren’t cheap, and extra time spent travelling there and back and standing in queues for longer.

    Finally, I hope the powers that be have a rethink about closing down this branch and consider their customers needs, as I think the Yorkshire Bank at Middleton is a valuable asset to all, it has a cosy atmosphere and is an iconic part of the community in Middleton, and people feel comfortable and at ease going there.

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