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Cullen in the money as new ATM unveiled

By Alan Beresford

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ACCESSING cash in Cullen has just become a lot easier with the unveiling of a new free to use ATM.

Good to see you...Cullen and Deskford Community Council chairman Stewart Black and Cullen Co-op manager Karen Flett admire the town's new ATM. Picture: Daniel Forsyth
Good to see you...Cullen and Deskford Community Council chairman Stewart Black and Cullen Co-op manager Karen Flett admire the town's new ATM. Picture: Daniel Forsyth

The town's previous free to use cash machine disappeared in 2016 when the local branch of the Bank of Scotland shut its doors for the last time.

Cullen has a population of around 1500 but this increases significantly during the summer as this coastline is a tourist destination with many overseas visitors. With no ATM, many experienced problems getting cash to pay for goods and services in businesses in the town.

However, a new machine has now been installed inside Cullen's Co-op store on Grant Street by Link, the UK’s main cash machine network

The move comes after a concerted campaign by the local community and Moray MP Douglas Ross.

Cullen and Deskford Community Council chairman Stewart Black welcomed the news, saying that it was the culmination of a long community campaign.

He said: "Hopefully it'll be a benefit to the whole community, it's certainly taken a long time to get this far.

"It first came about when the community council held a survey abut what was needed around the town and one of the top things was the return of an ATM.

"We were lucky that the Link fund came about when it did or it's unlikely we would have this ATM.

"I'd like to thank everybody who helped in the campaign to return a cash machine to the village."

Mr Ross secured a Westminster debate to draw attention to the problems in 2019. He has worked with the UK ATM network Link, which has approved an application to designate Cullen as an area that needed a free to use machine.

"This has been a long time coming, but I am very pleased that we have reached a positive outcome," he continued.

"This is a great example of the community and elected representatives working together.

"Access to cash is a growing problem in areas like Moray. When the last bank branch in town closes, it has a negative impact on the whole community.

"I am pleased that Link has listened to the concerns raised locally and that the funding has been found to get this free-to-use ATM up and running. It is a real victory for everybody involved in this campaign."

Mr Ross has also written to residents in Cullen welcoming a local victory in securing the ATM after a long campaign.

Cullen Co-op store manager Karen Flett said that the shop was delighted to help out by agreeing to site the new ATM.

She commented: "We're delighted to be able to host this new ATM in our new-look store.

"It will provide a valuable service to our customers and the wider community."

Link’s Head of Commercial Initiatives, Ian Vernon: “Cullen is a town which is hugely popular with tourists who want to spend money in the area.

"That was problematic when there wasn’t a free machine so we are glad that we have been able to help the community with the support of Douglas Ross MP.

“Free access to cash remains vital for communities across the UK and we’re ready to support more communities access cash easily."

This is the 56th community to benefit from the Community Request Scheme. It is also the seventh in Scotland and follows recent installations in Kinloss and Westhill, Aberdeen. Communities can make their requests directly to LINK, who will investigate each case raised and where it is possible, fund the new ATM directly.

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