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Cashing in: New ATM for village which feared tourism collapse

Community was worried visitors would swerve Durness after its cash machine was removed.

Durness relies on its thriving tourism industry. <strong>Google 2019</strong>
Durness relies on its thriving tourism industry. Google 2019

A village which feared the collapse of its tourism industry after its last cash machine was removed is getting a new one.

Durness is about as far north as it gets on mainland Scotland, with an economy almost entirely reliant on visitors spending money.

STV News told earlier this month how those who keep the community alive feared for its future after its only 24-hour cash machine was removed.

That left tourists facing a 100-mile round-trip to get cash, with unreliable internet connections meaning card payments are not always possible in Durness.

Some business owners were even lending visitors money to ensure they could spend it in the village.

But now cash machine firm Link has revealed Durness will get a free-to-use ATM as part of a new pilot scheme, which aims to make sure no high street in the UK is left without one.

Link CEO John Howells said: “Link is determined to defend free access to cash across the UK in the face of very rapidly declining cash use.

“Link will take further steps to ensure that the free ATM footprint is safe in Scotland and extend its commitment to cover every high street.

“We also want to support communities with specific access to cash needs such as Durness in the north-west Highlands of Scotland, where locals have to drive for an hour to get to their nearest free machine.

“Link will organise a new free ATM for Durness as part of a national trial to see how to best provide free access to cash.”

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