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The Bank of England confirms that it has entered into discussion with Unite the Union, representing affected Bank staff, about a proposal to close its cash distribution centre in Leeds in February 2023. The lease on the Bank’s cash centre premises expires in July 2023.
The Bank has maintained an operation in Leeds since the establishment of a branch in 1827. Since 1997, this has focused on cash distribution. Additionally, the Bank’s regional Agency for Yorkshire and the Humber is based in Leeds. The Agency is not affected by this announcement.
Following the successful transition to polymer banknotes, the Bank expects demand for distribution of new banknotes to fall in light of their greater durability, together with the continuing trend towards lower transactional usage of cash. After careful analysis, the Bank has therefore concluded that future distribution needs can be met from its Debden cash centre and existing storage facilities, without replacing the Leeds cash centre when the lease on the current property expires. Consequently, the Bank proposes to close the Leeds cash centre with effect from February 2023. All services currently provided through the Leeds cash centre would continue at Debden cash centre. This includes the service to assess and redeem mutilated notes which is currently performed in Leeds.
The Bank formally notified Unite the Union of these proposals on 20 April and has informed potentially affected staff. It has commenced a formal consultation with Unite. There are 34 members of staff affected by this consultation.
The Bank remains committed to meeting the demand for banknotes in all parts of the United Kingdom.
The Bank also remains committed to ensuring that it is represented across the whole of the United Kingdom, and its network of 12 Agencies ensures that it remains alert to local economic conditions. Building on this, today, the Bank has announced a commitment to significantly increase its staff presence across the United Kingdom including plans to develop a new northern hub.