Ards and North Down Borough Councillor Joe Boyle has expressed his dismay at the pending closure of the Ulster Bank in Kircubbin.
He said that the recent news involving the last operating branch of a major clearing bank in the Ards Peninsula, the Ulster Bank, now earmarked to close it’s doors in October, is a devastating blow to the financial functioning of many individuals and small cash operating businesses in the locality.
“This is not good news for the residents and businesses in and throughout the entire Ards Peninsula. It is yet another set back concerning the availability of facilities on offer in the Ards Peninsula said Councillor Boyle.
“I have been working extremely hard for a number of years, throughout all towns and villages in the the Ards Peninsula, marketing the area as a must visit location, further, an area welcoming for everyone to live and to do business. Sometimes, however, it feels as if we move one step forward and two back.
“In recent years Danske Bank closed in Portaferry, offering the community their services within their branch in Kircubbin of which only after a relatively short period decided to close this branch and now offering their services in Newtownards, a distance of over a 40 mile return journey.
“In some ways the Portaferry Credit Union, having invested £0.5m in their current excellent premises in the town and further having purchased and invested significantly within the former Danske Bank premises in Kircubbin have as an organisation been extremely pro-active with offering an important lifeline to the residents throughout the Ards Peninsula.
“Whilst it is good to get a Post Office back in operation in Greyabbey and other villages being serviced by similar facilities, recent refurbishment within the Portaferry Post Office now offers a greater service to the community and customers. Unfortunately to loose the only remaining bank in the Ards Peninsula sited in Kircubbin currently without a Post Office facility is very worrying.
Councillor Boyle added: I have been liaising with Ulster Bank Officials with the view to organising a Public Meeting so that their customer base which includes customers from across the Ards Peninsula can be informed of how the Ulster Bank proposes to continue to service the needs of those with personal and business banking needs.
“It is vitally important that a community such as Kircubbin along with the overall services in the Ards Peninsula are maintained or practical alternatives are put in place to assist with everyday life within the area, an area becoming more popular to visit and to live.”