A BANK that has sat empty for three years is finally getting a new lease of life – in the form of an artisan bakery.

The old Barclay’s branch in Wanstead High Street was left an empty shell after the bank closed in 2014.

East London and West Essex Guardian Series:

The old Barclay's branch in Wanstead has been empty for three years

Since then Sainsbury’s has bought and abandoned the site, making the “difficult” decision to scrap plans for a convenience store there in September last year.

But those tired of walking passed the boarded up building, which was briefly taken over by squatters last summer, can breathe a sigh of relief – Gail’s Bakery is coming to save it.

East London and West Essex Guardian Series:

Squatters moved into the site last July before being moved on by police

In a statement released this morning (May 19) Sainsbury’s announced it has struck a deal with Gail’s, who will soon be opening its doors there.

A spokesman said: We’re pleased to have done a deal with Gail’s Bakery who will be bringing forward plans for a new shop.”

The upmarket bread makers have 36 shops across London and the south east, but Wanstead will only be its second east London branch, after Hackney.

Gail’s has been contacted for more information on its new Wanstead store.