Following a community request and working with the local MP, Graham Stuart, LINK, the UK’s main cash machine network, helped to switch an existing pay-to-use machine to a free-to-use ATM in the village’s local convenience store.
At beginning of the Coronavirus lockdown, ATM withdrawals fell on average across the UK by 60 per cent year-on-year, however, as the has begun to ease, withdrawals are increasing, though still around 45% down on last year. Across Beverley and Holderness, the Parliamentary constituency where Preston is located, cash withdrawals fell by as much as 72% during April, slightly increasing in June, though still 58% down.
The financial support to enable the conversion of the ATM to free to use by PayPoint (the existing operator) has been provided via LINK’s community request scheme.
Launched in October 2019, communities can apply for support for free access to cash. LINK will investigate each case raised and where it is possible, fund the new ATM directly. Details can be found at https://www.link.co.uk/consumers/request-access-to-cash/.
LINK is determined to protect free access to cash for every high street in the UK. If a high street is threatened with the loss of its last free-to-use ATM, LINK will step in to ensure that an ATM is made available and paid for with funding from all the UK’s main banks and building societies if there is no nearby Post Office counter to serve that community.
LINK’s Head of Commercial Initiatives, Ian Vernon: “Free cash access remains vital for communities and high streets across the country. Cash use and ATM withdrawals unsurprisingly fell in recent months, but there are still millions of people in the UK who rely on using cash. Preston is a village where free access to cash was difficult, so we’re glad to be helping the community in conjunction with PayPoint.
“This one of the first machines to go live under the Community Request Scheme since lockdown restrictions have started to be lifted. LINK is looking forward to carrying on this important work across the UK. We want to hear from more communities that have cash access issues. Whilst the network provides convenient access for most people, we know that communities are best placed to identify any issues. Any enquiries can be made via our request website.”
Graham Stuart, MP for Beverley and Holderness: “I am really pleased Preston will soon have an ATM at the General Store. Access to cash remains important to the day-to-day lives of many people, particularly those in rural areas, and I’d like to thank LINK for listening and providing the funding for this useful resource.”
PayPoint’s Chief Operating Officer, Lewis Alcraft: “We’re delighted to be working closely with LINK to bring ATMs to communities that rely on them for local access to cash on a daily basis.
“As lockdown continues to lift, convenience stores will continue to play a pivotal part in supporting their local customers. The installation of this ATM and those to follow are further examples of how PayPoint and its partners will continue to work together wherever possible to enhance and safeguard the local retail services that communities around the country depend upon.”
The ATM is located at Village Stores, 2 Main Street, Preston, HU12 8UA.