A former NatWest Bank premises in a Suffolk town, which has stood empty for more than five years, is set to be occupied by a children's charity.

East Anglia's Children's Hospices (EACH), which provides care and support to life-threatened children and their families, has announced that its shop will be moving into the bank site on the corner of Hamilton Road and York Road because the premises are "bigger, better and brighter".

Currently, the charity's shop trades from smaller premises across the road, which it has occupied since November 2012.

READ MORE: Retailer could move in NatWest Felixstowe branch in Suffolk

However, work to convert the bank into the shop is now under way and the charity will be opening in its new home on Thursday, June 20.

East Anglian Daily Times: The former NatWest in FelixstoweThe former NatWest in Felixstowe (Image: Newsquest)

Sarah Throssell, EACH's head of retail central operations, said: “We’re delighted and looking forward to building a bigger, better and brighter community shop for Felixstowe.

“The old shop has served a purpose and been our home since opening in 2012.

“However, as we’ve got bigger and our organisation has expanded, it feels like we’ve outgrown it.

“We needed to move and our new home is perfect.

“It’s a fabulous opportunity to bring another of our classy, stylish shops to the town, with more space to sell our range of donated and new goods.

“We can’t wait to get started and feel sure our loyal customers and the community in general, will feel equally positive.”

The branch closed on September 27, 2017, with NatWest blaming a sharp reduction in the number of transactions.

READ MORE: Suffolk news

At the time, a NatWest spokesperson said: “Since 2011 we have seen the number of transactions fall by 37% in the Felixstowe branch, 36% in the Stowmarket branch and 53% in the Woodbridge branch.

"These customers are actively choosing to bank in different ways, with an average of 62% of customers at these branches choosing to use our digital banking options.”

In February, this newspaper revealed that a retailer could move into the former bank branch.