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Halifax Portadown closed permanently following fire – despite initial hopes of reopening

The decision has been taken due to the costs of repair and refurbishment of the premises, alongside a decrease in footfall

Fire at the Halifax branch in Portadown
Fire at the Halifax branch in Portadown. Photo: Kyle Moutray

The Halifax bank branch in Portadown will not re-open after a fire in February gutted the premises.

Despite the lender outlining its hopes to re-open the premises following the blaze, the decision has now been taken to close the branch permanently.

On the evening of Tuesday, February 6, the fire caught hold inside the premises, which is located on the corner of High Street and Woodhouse Street.

A Halifax spokesperson said today: “Following fire damage at our Portadown branch we’ve looked carefully at the work needed to restore the branch, alongside how our customers have been using it. With customers visiting the branch less and most customers banking online or over the phone, our Portadown branch will not reopen.”

The news comes in-spite of assurances made to Upper Bann MP Carla Lockhart that the bank were “committed” to the town.

Speaking in the aftermath of the fire, Ms Lockhart said: “I am delighted that Halifax has confirmed to me that they will be reopening as soon as repairs are completed and they are committed to Portadown.”

She has since described the news to stay closed as a “big blow” to the town centre in Portadown.

“Very disappointing news confirmed early this morning that Halifax in Portadown will not re-open,” said Ms Lockhart. “This is a big blow to staff, customers and the town centre as a whole, leaving a large unoccupied building.”

The decision has been taken due to the costs of repair and refurbishment of the premises, alongside a decrease in footfall.

Continued Ms Lockhart: “It was my understanding that in the immediate aftermath of the fire that there was a desire and efforts were being made to have the bank re-open but unfortunately a decision has now be taken to close it with staff having been informed this morning.

“The Halifax Community Banking facility operating from the town hall will continue twice weekly and the offer of digital training for individuals/groups is being made available.”

She added: “Banks are exiting our town centres wholesale. It is frustrating particularly for our businesses and customers who still like to physically visit the bank. Remember you can bank via the Portadown Post Office & Walker’s or any other post office for most transactions.

“I have expressed my disappointment to Halifax and will be meeting them in due course.”

Local MLA Jonathan Buckley also expressed his disappointment at the news.

He said: “Extremely disappointed to have been told this morning that Halifax plan to permanently close their branch in Portadown following the fire in February.

“Whilst they have said the Community Hub will remain open, I think this is a huge disservice to local people following the closure of Halifax Lurgan six months ago.

“For customers in Upper Bann with specific banking needs, Lisburn is now their closest branch – simply not good enough. I have made my disappointment known in the strongest possible terms.”

Halifax say they have come to their decision by looking at the work needed to restore the facility, alongside customer banking habits.

They say that branch transactions at Portadown fell more than 67% between 2019 and 2024, with 80% of customers already using other forms of banking.

The bank have also cited the proximity to the Post Office on West Street, and nearby free-to-use ATMs as other reasons for the closure, adding that their Community Banker will continue to visit Portadown Town Hall every Monday and Friday between 9am-4pm, providing face to face services to customers.

The Halifax spokesperson continued: “Customers can continue to manage their money through our mobile banking app, online, by calling us, or speaking to our Community Banker who will be in the Town Hall twice a week. Customers can also use the local Post Office and nearby free-to-use ATMs.”

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