NORTH Main Street traders have hit out as the street looks set to suffer yet another blow as Permanent TSB closes its premises in the area.
Customers of the city centre branch have been advised that from Monday, December 11, the branch is relocating to new premises in Blackpool Retail Park.
Customers have been told there will be no change to their account details and they can continue to bank at what it describes as a state-of-the-art branch.
It is the latest blow for the street which has endured the departure of Dunnes Stores and a number of other tenants in recent years.
While there seemed to be a change in fortunes in recent months with the opening of Priory Coffee and its starring role in the recent Culture Night, the loss of the bank has been described as disheartening for the people on the street.
Rose Murphy of Murphy's Pharmacy said, "It is an obvious loss to the street and we are disappointed that they are moving from here.
“I had heard it on the grapevine but nobody consulted us about it.”
The loss has been described as 'another nail in the coffin' for the street by former Lord Mayor, Cllr Sean Martin, who criticised the bank for its decision.
Traders have criticised the timing of the closure of Permanent TSB on North Main St. The decision will leave a prime location vacant for Christmas.
Rose Murphy of Murphy's Pharmacy said, "It is an obvious loss to the street and we are disappointed that they are moving from here. I heard it on the grapevine but nobody consulted us about it.”
Pat Leader of Leader's Menswear said closures were never positive but that timing was particularly bad.
“I would have preferred it was after Christmas,” he said.
“We don’t like to see anyone go but if they are planning a move we would have preferred it happened back in June or July to give someone else a chance to move in or else after Christmas when the main rush would be over."
A spokesperson for the bank said their aim was to provide a branch for their customers in both the city centre and on the northside.
Since 2010, Permanent TSB has closed branches in Mayfield, Cathedral Road and Togher, something Fianna Fáil city councillor Sean Martin highlighted when talking about the change.
“When banks moved out of Mayfield, I thought it was a disgrace. These decisions seem to constantly hit the working class communities," he said.
“It is the old story: if you have a Garda station, a post office or a bank at least you have a footfall to the street,” he said.
“They say it is modernisation but the communities seem to be constantly losing and suffering in my opinion. In the context of town, and given that we are trying to grow business, I think it is going to be another nail in the coffin of North Main St.”