Helmsley’s only 24/7 cash machine will be unavailable at the start of January for a limited period of time before it reopens permanently from the start of February 2024.

The temporary closure of the Barclays ATM on Market Place at the heart of the busy town is necessary to carry out the engineering work needed to enable safe access, service and maintenance of the cash machine.

Earlier this year, North Yorkshire Council approved a planning application submitted by Barclays to make alterations to the site subject to a number of conditions to ensure compliance with the policies of the local authority.

Helmsley’s MP Kevin Hollinrake said: “I'm very pleased this work is taking place - it will secure the future of the cash machine in Helmsley and benefit businesses and individuals in the area who rely on access to cash. I also welcome that the building work will not start until January, meaning the busy Christmas period will be unaffected.”

North Yorkshire Councillor for the Helmsley and Sinnington division, George Jabbour, added: “The future of the cash machine in Helmsley has been raised with me many times, not only since my election last year, but also before then when Barclays closed their branch in our thriving market town. It is a major concern for both residents and businesses. As I pass by Market Place frequently, I regularly keep an eye on the ATM and, whenever it runs out of cash, I ensure that Barclays are alerted, especially given that they have maintained a part-time branch at the library. Having said that, I have noticed that over the past 12 months the number of times the machine stopped working has been declining, which is wonderful. I hope that access to cash locally will continue to improve.”

A spokesperson from Barclays commented: “We are committed to retaining the cash machine in Helmsley. It will remain operational and free to use on a permanent basis, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We apologise for any inconvenience caused when building work is taking place and ATM services are temporarily lost. Customers will continue to be able to use the cash machine inside Nationwide Building Society on Bridge Street during their opening hours.”