TWO former banks look set to receive a new lease of life

Plans have been submitted to transform the former HSBC bank into a cafe and a residential flat in Alston.

The applicant, Terry Mcwen, hopes the change of use to the building in Market Square will help regenerate the property into a ‘social hub for the community and tourists alike’.

The proposal states that the cafe will occupy the basement and first floor, with the upper three floors used as a three-bedroom flat for residential purposes.

The detailed plans suggest many original features of the building will be reinstated, with two new Velux windows installed.

The building was formerly owned by HSBC bank in 2015, when it occupied all four storeys and the basement.

Meanwhile, the former Barclays bank building, on Front Street, is due to go under the hammer at a Landwood Property online auction on October 2.

The ground floor retail space is available for someone to snap up, with the minimum bid set at £27,500.

The 793 sq ft retail space includes a main sales area, interview room, bank vault, toilets and a staff kitchen.

Alston has been without a bank branch since 2015 when HSBC and Barclays left their premises, despite public campaigns to keep them.