Lloyds Bank in Tunbridge Wells has now reopened to customers after its recent refurbishment and modernisation. Plans to turn the Grade II listed building into flats were shelved in the summer in favour of retaining the branch.
The initial residential planning application for the historic building, located on Mount Pleasant Road, outlined plans for eight flats across the upper floors, with the ground floor remaining a retail space at the request of Tunbridge Wells Borough Council. The application was later withdrawn, and work started in early October to refurbish the branch.
Plans to close 36 other Lloyds Bank branches this year are still going ahead at the time of going to print. The trend of mass high street branch closures, reducing access to face-to-face support and services for customers, has come under intense scrutiny in recent years, especially from residents in locations left without any high street banks to serve their communities.
While Lloyds Bank branches remain in nearby Crowborough and Sevenoaks, the Whitstable High Street branch closed in May 2023.
The coastal town has since joined Tonbridge on a list of locations with a shortage of high street banks, identifying them as potential candidates for a Banking Hub to restore these vital services to local areas.
Customers can expect a brand-new interior in the iconic town centre building, featuring an internal cashpoint and other banking services such as travel money, a paying-in machine and counter service. Accessibility services include a Talking Cashpoint, wheelchair access and support for Sunflower Lanyard wearers. Longer appointments are also available on request.