Colin Smyth MSP
South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth has said talks planned between TSB bosses, local elected representatives and other community stakeholders must have one focus- developing a plan to retain the Savings Bank Museum and all its artefacts in Ruthwell.
The local MSP will take part in the meeting tomorrow (Friday 11 June) with the TSB and hopes the public backlash against the bank’s proposal to axe the museum and move the artefacts to their HQ Edinburgh will lead to a U-turn by the company and a plan to save the museum will be developed.
Speaking ahead of the meeting Colin Smyth said, “I think the TSB underestimated the resolve of the local community and beyond when they announced plans to axe the Savings Bank Museum. Since I tabled a Parliamentary motion and raised the issue at First Minister’s Questions I have been inundated by messages from literally across the world. We’ll be presenting a petition to bank bosses signed by nearly 2,500 people already and local community groups have been working on ideas on how the museum can be kept in Ruthwell, so there is a real determination from everyone to stop this closure. The TSB originally wanted this meeting to talk about what they could do with the artefacts they didn’t want when they closed the museum. But I made clear any meeting should be aimed at agreeing a way forward to save the museum and the artefacts kept in the community. This is an important piece of not just Dumfriesshire and Scotland’s history, but is the story of the saving bank movement across the world, and should be retained where it all started in Ruthwell for future generations to enjoy and learn from.”
The TSB recently announced they planned to permanently axe the museum in Ruthwell, which was the site of the world’s first savings bank and transfer the contents of the bank to their HQ in Edinburgh.
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).