The constituency MSP for Lochalsh has welcomed news from the Royal Bank of Scotland that it will keep its Kyle branch open until at least the end of the year.

At the end of last year Kate Forbes MSP made a fact-finding visit to the branch, which had previously been earmarked for imminent closure, and met with regional manager Paul Dykes as well as local staff.

Along with Ian Blackford MP, Ms Forbes had been expressing firm opposition to bank bosses, and the Lochalsh MSP also led a Scottish Parliament debate on the closure of banks in rural areas.

The Kyle branch has almost 2,500 customers, and last year saw 25,000 transactions. If the closure had proceeded, the nearest branch would have been over 30 miles away in Portree.

Kate Forbes MSP said: “This is tremendously good news for the communities of Kyle.

“There has been such a lot of hard work since RBS first announced the branch closures in early December.

“I led a debate in the Scottish Parliament calling for RBS to reconsider these decisions and highlighting the detrimental impact on rural businesses and communities in particular.

“This is a positive outcome and I know that many people have campaigned and lobbied extensively.

“Ian Blackford MP has led the charge in particular and much of the credit for this u-turn lies with him.

“Obviously, there is a need for people in these rural communities to continue using the branches because RBS will be reconsidering this decision.

“It is important that we demonstrate the significance of the local branch to the community.”