December 5, 2019 @ 13:51 by Steven Hugill
Dozens of customers defied the wet weather to attend the official opening of a mutual’s newly-upgraded County Durham branch.
Newcastle Building Society has refreshed its base in Consett’s Middle Street.
The work is part of a wider multi-million-pound investment and improvement programme across the mutual’s entire branch network.
Well-known local businessman Barry Kingston, owner of nearby Barry’s Bargain Superstore, was invited to cut the ribbon at a special Christmas-themed event, which also included entertainment from local singer Laura Skelton.
Bosses say the upgraded Consett branch offers customers easy access to services, information and advice, and provides private meeting space to discuss financial matters.
Andy Rose, manager at the Consett branch, said: “While many other financial institutions are closing branches across the North East, we are investing in enhancing and upgrading a modern branch network that sits right at the heart of our operations.”
The mutual is now more than two thirds of the way through a branch improvement programme, which includes existing site refreshment work and the opening of new sites in places such as Hawes, in North Yorkshire, and Wooler, in Northumberland.
Its expansion also includes new branches in Bishop Auckland and Barnard Castle, with the latter welcoming customers for the first time just a few weeks ago.
The opening of Bishop Auckland next year will take the firm’s County Durham site list to six.