Today Labour have announced their vision for renewed high streets across the North East.

Labour is pledging to bring back high street banking after half of banks have closed in the region since 2015.

There are now only 148 high street banks remaining across the North East, 56% lower than in 2015.

Jonathan Reynolds, Labour's shadow business secretary, outlined the new policy of introducing banking hubs in every town without a high street bank.

These banking hubs will provide people with everyday essential banking services.

Darlington has lost a quarter of its banks, Bishop Auckland has lost half and Richmond has lost three-quarters.

Mr Reynolds said: "Labour back the great British high street that’s why we will make sure every community has access to high street banking services.

"Under the Conservatives our high streets have been allowed to fall into decline, with more and more high street anchors like banks closing.

"Labour will put an end to boarded up premises and ghost high streets with our plan to bring banks back to the high street, fix business rates, tackle empty properties and get police back on the beat on your high street. Only Labour has a plan to give your high street a bright future.

"There is a sense of weariness on the streets, people want to know that things are going to get better. They need a change."

Labour's Shadow Chancellor, Rachel Reeves, said: "Labour’s plan will bring banking services back to communities who have seen them disappear over recent years, meaning more people across the country will be able to access the services they need closer to home."

Tulip Siddiq, Labour's shadow economic secretary to the Treasury, described how the government's current voluntary approach is not working.

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He said: "When a local community no longer has access to a bank branch, we know it is the poorest in society along with high street businesses who lose out the most from the loss of vital in-person services. 

"Despite recent legislation being passed to protect access to cash, not enough action has been taken to ensure that essential face-to-face banking services are being protected in our town centres.

"The Government’s current voluntary approach simply isn’t moving fast enough. Labour will work with the banks and the FCA to ensure that shared banking hubs are rolled-out across the country at pace and at scale to get British high-streets thriving again."