ALCESTER High Street has been dealt a blow with the news that Barclays Bank will close.

Barclays bosses said the branch had been declining in recent years, with the number of transactions going down in the previous 24 months.

They added that 77 per cent of customers are now using other ways to do their banking such as online and by telephone.

The closure means people will be forced to travel to either Stratford, Redditch, or Evesham for their nearest branch - all more than 7.5 miles away.

A spokesman from the bank said: "Before we make the decision to close any branch, we think carefully about how it has been used so far.

"We consider how many customers have been visiting, what kind of transactions they've been making, and all the other ways they've been choosing to bank with us.

"We also take into consideration the availability of other branches in the wider community."

The announcement has caused shockwaves in the community with many saying it will hit the high street hard.

Commenting on Facebook Denise Pearce said: "Who makes these stupid decisions! Some of us like the service of an actual person and not have to go to a machine (like in Redditch). The staff in Alcester are so lovely and helpful. I’m gutted for them and for Alcester town."

Ben Dean said: "Let me guess, another charity shop will take it's place! Some of us that work don't have time to travel to Redditch."

Jen Hopkins said: "I'm stunned. It's always busy in there and so many local businesses to their day to day banking there."

Hildie Rogerson said: "That’s crazy. Every time I go in there’s a queue... that should tell them something?"

Janine Wilks said: "What happens on the days we have our street markets. Both cash points take a hammering and run out of money. No cash no spending."

The branch will close on May 24.