Background to the Community Cash Pilots
The Community Access to Cash Pilots (CACP) initiative is working with a number of communities across the UK to trial and test scalable solutions to help keep cash sustainable. The initiative is supported by the banking and finance industry which will provide resources in the form of financing and local staff who understand what is possible, linked to a central team who have the influence to make things happen. The pilot programme is also supported by a wide range of consumer groups and charities, who will also bring their expertise to support the work. The pilots will start in the Autumn of 2020 and run for the remainder of the year.
Pilot communities have been selected by an independent board, chaired by Natalie Ceeney CBE, who led the Access to Cash Review, and supported by a mix of industry, small business and customer representatives.
The scheme was formally closed to applications on 1 June 2020 – a slightly delayed date due to Covid. The application deadline was left open for longer in Northern Ireland, where no initial applications were received. Applications were assessed against two primary criteria; the strength of the local leadership willing to lead the work, and the need for innovation in cash access in their community. Twenty-three communities applied for the scheme, of which nine were selected to be pilots, in a range of communities across the UK. The original pilot scheme was due to run until the end of 2020, but because of Covid, it has been extended to run until the end of June 2021.
Update on progress – September 2020
We have selected nine communities with a variety of needs and covering very different geographies and economies up and down the UK to become pilots. We have worked closely with each of these communities to identify what services they need to keep cash viable, both for consumers and small businesses. In parallel, we have explored with the major banks, the Post Office and technology players what solutions we can deploy to meet these needs. We have now developed a plan for each community, with suppliers ready to start work, and aim to have all of the pilot services fully up and running by the end of 2020, with the pilot running until the end of June 2021.
We will be sharing details of the plans for each community shortly – along with details of all of the solutions being piloted.
The pilot communities are detailed below:
Ampthill (Bedfordshire): Ampthill is situated in an area of mid Bedfordshire targeted by the Government for extensive new home building. Ampthill is a thriving market town. In the centre of the town there is a Waitrose supermarket with a free car park and a significant number of independent businesses. Consequently, it is a draw for the many surrounding villages which don’t have these resources. The numerous small local businesses along with the significant number of older residents need options for depositing and accessing cash.
Botton Village (North Yorkshire): Botton Village: Camphill Village Trust is a national charity which provides both supported living and day support opportunities to people with learning and other disabilities, across 10 communities and services in England.
Botton Village is located on the North York Moors within a rural setting. The village has a number of residents living on site and provides day placements for those people choosing to live within their own homes but wish to access workshops and social farming opportunities on a daily basis. The nearest neighbouring villages of Castleton and Danby have a total population of around 2000 people and again these communities experience social isolation and limited access to everyday resources due to their rural locations. Botton Village Community and the individuals it supports is dependent on cash and as a forward thinking provider of social care, Camphill Village Trust is keen to empower people to become more financially independent, improve self-responsibility, independence and budgeting skills which is far easier to achieve when people have access to their own cash. At the same time, this type of resource can only help support the wider neighbouring communities where access to digital banking facilities are limited.
Burslem (Stoke-on-Trent): Burslem, the mother town of the six towns that amalgamated to create Stoke, in 2018 became the first town in the UK with a population of over 20,000 to have neither a bank branch nor bank ATM on its high street. The Burslem community are keen to explore solutions for local retailers to deposit and withdraw cash, to have access to cash for the thriving night time economy and to support consumers with budgeting and digital options.
Cambuslang (Lanarkshire): Cambuslang is a town of c.28,600 people, the third largest town in South Lanarkshire, but since 2018 has been unbanked following the closures of branches by three banks in quick succession. According to the latest version of the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD), some 40% of areas (data zones) in Cambuslang East and 25% in Cambuslang West are in the bottom 20% of the SIMD. The Cambuslang community are keen to address two key issues, first, supporting financially vulnerable customers in accessing cash, and supporting small businesses to be able to access and bank cash. The local leaders of this pilot, Cambuslang Community Council, are passionate about the opportunity to support their community though better access to cash, education and, ultimately, influencing the coming legislation change.
Denny (Falkirk): Denny is a small town located between Edinburgh and Glasgow, with a population of circa 8,000, and with 16% of the population over 65 years old. They are a semi-urban location that has seen a reduction in their access to cash facilities. They are looking to improve the cash deposit and withdrawal facilities for both small local retailers and consumers, and also want to support their community to be able to budget and access cash digitally.
Hay-on-Wye (Powys): Hay’s population is less than 2,000, a number which includes a wide cross section of people from a variety of social backgrounds. Hay has a large proportion of independent retailers, and a lot of visitors, making businesses’ ability to access and deposit cash key to the viability of the community. The annual book festival raises additional challenges, in terms of large numbers of people needing to access a very limited cash infrastructure for a short period of time. The local leaders of the Hay pilot are keen to explore a wide range of solutions to support their needs, including both a traditional cash access/ deposit infrastructure, and also supporting greater digital inclusion.
Lulworth Camp (Dorset): Lulworth Camp is in a remote part of Dorset. It is a Ministry of Defence army barracks with around 2,600 troops through the camp, often with no cars, therefore relying on public transport. There are also about 1500 families and service personnel who are permanently on camp. The closest village is West Lulworth which has a population of around 700 people, and which is also a famous tourist spot as it is situated on the Jurassic coast. Access for cash is a real issue for the families that live on the camp and recruits who train there, with no onsite banking or ATM facilities.
Rochford (Essex): Rochford has a population of around 20,000, and bid to become a pilot community primarily to support its ageing population who are heavily reliant on cash, as well as to support small businesses in the local community to can struggle to easily deposit cash locally. There are also surrounding areas, including Hockley, which also have limited access to cash facilities. There is an established working party looking at wider regeneration of the local towns which this pilot will work with.
Milisle (Northern Ireland): Millisle is a community of 3,500 people. it is in the top twenty paces of deprivation in Northern Ireland as a result of a high percentage of people on benefits. The community has both an aging and young population and sees its population almost double in the summer months due to tourism seasonality. The town has a strong working group looking at both access for cash and wider community issues.