A petition has been launched to try and save a Suffolk town's branch of Barclays Bank, which is set to close in May.

So far, 71 people have signed the petition on the website change.org to keep the Leiston outlet open after the national chain announced the closure of the Main Street branch on May 17 due to a lack of customers.

The petition's creator Carl Creed said on the website that the importance of physical banking services 'could not be overstated' and provided 'essential services' to individuals who did not have the digital skills or resources to manage their finances online.

READ MORE: Suffolk and Ipswich MP Dan Poulter on bank closures

He added: "This decision will leave the town without a bank and significantly impact local businesses and residents, particularly those without access to online banking."

Mr Creed cited figures from charity Age UK, which showed that 2.3 million people aged 75 and over in the UK had never used the internet.

"For these individuals, visiting a local bank is not just an option but a necessity. We urge Barclays Bank to reconsider this decision and maintain its commitment to serving all customers' needs regardless of their digital capabilities or preferences," he said.

READ MORE: Suffolk: Bank closures causing 'financial exclusion'

According to Barclays, only 64 customers use the branch regularly and 86% of people who do use it also use the online banking app. 

Once the branch closes, the next nearest Barclays branch will be in Lowestoft. 

There have been a spate of bank closures in the county in recent months, with Barclays closing branches in Framlingham and Woodbridge, while the Southwold outlet closed last year.

READ MORE: Leiston news

A Barclays spokesperson said: “As visits to branches continue to fall, with the majority of people preferring to bank online, we need to adapt to provide the best service for all our customers.

"This is reflected at Leiston, where we are delivering new ways to support our customers and the community with options for those who need in-person services.”

“In Leiston we plan to open a Barclays Local – a cashless banking site where customers can meet a colleague face-to-face for banking support, as they would in a branch and without the need to travel.

"We are currently working with the local community to identify a suitable location and will announce details once confirmed.” 

READ MORE: Suffolk news