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East Anglia Future 50

New lease of life planned for former high street bank

PUBLISHED: 11:06 23 April 2019 | UPDATED: 11:20 23 April 2019

NatWest bank in Gorleston High Street has been bought by a nearby business Picture: Google Maps

NatWest bank in Gorleston High Street has been bought by a nearby business Picture: Google Maps

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A former bank in a busy high street is poised for a new lease of life.

NatWest in Gorleston High Street closed two years ago with a spokesman for the branch saying only 68 people visited it a week as customers moved online.

Now the empty building could be transformed into a hub for financial services with a residential flat above.

Under plans submitted to Great Yarmouth Borough Council a new shop front will be installed by D O'Kane Financial Services, currently based in nearby England's Lane.

Managing director David O'Kane said the business had outgrown its home in the nine years it had been going and was looking to expand.

The move would mean growing from four staff to six or seven and creating something “really smart” in an empty building.

Negotiations were underway over a strip of access land at the back, he said, and although the move would not be immediate he was looking forward to relocating into “plush” new surroundings which would be better for the high street, filling a vacant unit.

In Great Yarmouth the former “civic quarter” with its predominance of banks and council buildings along Hall Quay is set to be transformed into a dining area with boutique hotels.

With the anticipated £120m third river crossing set to take traffic away from the area it is being seen as a “key opportunity” to reinvent the quayside and bring in a mix of restaurants and cuisines, boosting the evening economy.

The plans come as banks across Norwich have been transformed with NatWest in Norwich city centre remodelled into the Cosy Club restaurant.

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