Colin Smyth MSP
Colin Smyth MSP

South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth is urging the TSB to rethink plans to permanently axe their museum in Ruthwell, which was the site of the world’s first savings bank.

The company plan to transfer the contents of the bank to their HQ in Edinburgh and shut the museum for good.

The museum is located in the “penny bank” established in 1810 in the Dumfriesshire village by local Minister Henry Duncan for local parishioners, which ultimately became the Trustee Savings Bank (TSB).

Colin Smyth has written to the TSB Chief Executive calling for a rethink and to work with the local community to consider options to retain the museum and its contents locally.

Colin Smyth said, “This is little more than penny pinching from bank bosses whose only motive even during a pandemic seems to be how can their bank make more money.

“Claiming they will have a token exhibition in Edinburgh instead of the museum in Ruthwell ignores the fact that it is the location and the building itself that is a key part of its historical significance.

“This was the birthplace of the savings bank and if they close the doors on the museum, the TSB will be turning its back on an important piece of our history. The company claims visitor numbers are small, but do little to promote what is a fascinating piece of our nation’s past.

“I hope they rethink these plans and I have asked to meet with the company to discuss whether there are alternative options that could be investigated that will keep the museum open and the artefacts and exhibition local.”

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