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Bank starts town centre pop-up services

14 Jun 2024 2 minute read
HSBC Blackwood. Image: Google

Nicholas Thomas Local Democracy Reporter

HSBC will reportedly start a pop-up banking service in a town centre, as its old branch is set to be converted into a piri piri chicken restaurant.

The banking firm closed its Blackwood High Street branch in the town last summer, citing changing customer habits.

New arrangement

Blackwood Town Council has this week announced a new arrangement with HSBC, bringing back some banking services to the area on a monthly basis.

It said HSBC staff will visit the town council offices at 130 to 132 High Street on the first Tuesday of every month until December, from 10am to 3pm.

There, they will help customers access banking services, register for online and mobile banking, and assist with other queries.

Councillor Kevin Etheridge welcomed the deal as “really good news for Blackwood High Street” and said the town council hopes to develop its offices as a “community hub for all residents”, with plans under way to bring in additional services.

“Healthy” food

Food firm Maeme’s has won planning permission to transform the former bank branch, at 91 to 93 High Street, which closed in July 2023.

Maeme’s, which advertises itself as selling “healthy fresh grilled food”, says it will create five full-time and six part-time jobs at the new Blackwood restaurant, according to planning documents.

Caerphilly County Borough Council planners said changing the use of the property would be “acceptable” because it falls outside the “retail core” of central Blackwood.

No neighbours objected to the proposals during a recent consultation exercise.

If the building work goes ahead, Maeme’s plans to install a “modern and clean customer seating area accompanied by a well-equipped supporting kitchen space”.

A new shop front and signs will be put up outside the property, and in a planning statement on behalf of the applicant, agent Architecture and Interior Design Ltd said the restaurant will “provide a family-friendly dining experience with family seating areas and healthy grilled food, something which is quite limited in the area and would be very successful”.

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