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Charity is ‘Banking On’ New Centre Success

A former banking hall in High Cross Street, St Austell, has a new tenant, thanks to property consultancy Stratton Creber Commercial (SCC).

Previously home to Lloyds Bank, the premises – set over two floors and a basement – are being transformed into a community drop-in centre by social enterprise Cornwall Neighbourhoods for Change (CN4C).

One of Cornwall’s key voluntary sector organisations, CN4C has a team of around 20 staff and a large network of volunteers that work with local communities to improve quality of life and opportunities.

The county-wide charity delivers crucial services, including employment support, training, youth work and community development.

The deal was structured by agency surveyor Joseph Rea of SCC’s Truro office. He says: “Branch closures present a real challenge for our beleaguered high streets, so it’s encouraging to see such a creative use of a former bank.”

More than 3,000 UK branches have closed since 2015, according to consumer group Which?, with Santander the latest high street bank to announce the loss of more than 100 outlets earlier this year.

Innovative changes of use have included bars, restaurants, cafes, offices, retail and even residential conversions.