Kirklees Council’s regeneration chief Clr Graham Turner cut the ribbon to open the new branch of HSBC bank in the Kingsgate Centre on Monday.

The bank has closed its Cloth Hall Street branch and invested hundreds of thousands of pounds in a modern, fully-accessible branch in Kingsgate.

The Huddersfield branch is only the third new branch to be opened by the bank in the last 12 months and Clr Turner said: “At a time when banks generally are closing branches and not opening new ones, this is good news for Huddersfield.

“This investment shows that multi-national companies have faith in the future of Huddersfield. The branch is modern and accessible and it could be a model for other banks to follow.”

Clr Turner said the staff were friendly and helpful – and there was a queue outside when the branch opened its doors to the public for the first time.

New state-of-the art technology will enable customers, for the first time, to deposit cash as well as withdraw outside of branch hours.

Accessibility features in the new branch include wider doorways, height-adjustable desks and wheelchair accessible meeting rooms.

To help customers with conditions such as autism, dementia and ADHD, the branch will also have a daily ‘quiet hour’ between 2pm and 3pm, with noise reduced in the branch by switching HSBC UK radio off, and there will be increased awareness and support from staff.

Lisa Moore, local director at HSBC (pictured above with Clr Turner), said: “We are really pleased to have welcomed customers to our new branch.

“We have a really rich history in Huddersfield that goes back almost 200 years and this new branch marks a significant investment and new era for HSBC UK in the town, and we hope our customers love the new branch as much as I and my branch colleagues do.”

HSBC leased the multi-storey Cloth Hall Street building and Clr Turner said he didn’t know what the owners had planned for it going forward.