Welshpool bank hub is reportedly aiming to make a soft launch before the end of the year, ready to begin operations in 2024.

As the hub prepares to open, leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats Jane Dodds MS visited the facility, which is to be based at the former Lloyds bank building on Broad Street.

Ms Dodds was joined by two representatives from Welshpool council, Cllr Carol Robinson and Richard Church.

During her visit, Ms Dodds called for the facility to be named after former Montgomeryshire Senedd Member, Mick Bates, who passed away in 2022 and campaigned for the introduction of a bank hub prior to his death.

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She said: “I am delighted to see that there will be a bank hub opening in Welshpool.

"I was delighted not just for the town, but also for my dear late friend and colleague Mick Bates who campaigned tirelessly for the creation of a bank hub in the town.

"Unfortunately, Mick isn’t here to see the opening of this hub, but I’m sure if he was, he would be beaming with pride.

"I would like to see this hub named after Mick, in honour not just of his tireless campaigning for its opening but also for his tireless service to Montgomeryshire.”

Mr Bates represented Montgomeryshire in the Senedd from 1999 to 2011 on behalf of the Welsh Liberal Democrats.

The hub, which will be the first of its kind in Wales, has been in development since Lloyds announced it was closing its Welshpool branch in June 2022, but faced delays from its original planned opening date of summer 2023.

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The facility is designed to be a counter service, operated by the Post Office, where customers of major banks and building societies can carry out regular transactions and talk to their own banking provider about complicated issues.

Cllr Richard Church and Carol Robinson added: “We welcome this coming to Welshpool, although it is a shame that the banks have closed before the hub will be open.

“We did call for Lloyds, the last remaining bank in Welshpool at the time, to remain open until the hub itself opened. However, they did not listen to us and as a result the town has not had a bank since January 2023.

“But we do welcome the introduction of this hub, and we hope to see it used by residents for the foreseeable future.”