A RECENT study has revealed the number of ATMs across North Ayrshire and Arran is decreasing.

The research, carried out by The Grade using House of Commons Library and ONS data, has shown that since 2018 the number of cash machines in the area has dropped by 11 per cent.

It has shown there to be just 86 ATMs left in the county, with less than one free-to-use machine left, per thousand people in North Ayrshire.

It continues a growing trend of cash becoming harder for locals to access, with multiple bank buildings closing over the last five years.

However, despite the nation becoming increasingly 'cashless', especially given health concerns throughout the Covid pandemic, as the cost of living crisis bites cash use is back on the increase.

The Post Office, for example, reported that it handled £3.45 billion in cash across its counters in August – the highest since its records began.

In a recent Bank of England report, they stated: “Cash continues to be an important form of money for many – one in five people consider it to be their preferred payment method and 1.1 million people rely on it for their everyday spending.

"Even for those who may not use it day-to-day, cash remains an important back-up option.”

This also pointed to specific groups in society who rely on cash more often than others.

It added: "Cash remains a valued form of money for the elderly and those on lower incomes, with many using it to budget and manage their household finances.”

This could prove to be a prominent issue in Ayrshire, where the 'pensioner rate' is 29 per cent - higher than the national average.