Newcastle Building Society has delayed plans to refurbish its Ponteland branch to ensure customers continue to have local access to financial services with minimum disruption.
The Society had been due to close its Broadway branch in Darras Hall for around two months at the start of 2019 as part of an ongoing, multi-million pound investment programme across the whole of its branch network.
But after Barclays Bank’s recent announced that its Ponteland branch is to close in mid-January, the North East’s largest building society has decided to push back its refurbishment plans to ensure Ponteland residents don’t suffer further inconvenience at that time.
A new date for the refurbishment work will be announced in due course, but it is still expected the Ponteland Branch refurbishment will complete before the end of 2019.
The project will entail the creation of a modern, open plan branch design that will offer Society customers better access to services, information and advice, as well as improved meeting spaces to discuss all aspects of personal financial planning.
The branch’s open design will also enable community groups to hold events there.
Recent figures from the Office for National Statistics showed that almost a third of the UK’s bank and building society branches in 2010 are now closed, which equates to nearly 6,000 local branches.
Newcastle Building Society is currently part-way through a programme of upgrading or relocating its entire 28 branch network. Sixteen branches are awaiting transformation and work will be completed by early 2020.
Stuart Miller, customer director of Newcastle Building Society, said: “At a time when many financial institutions are closing branches in towns across the region, the Society remains fully committed to maintaining and enhancing a modern branch network with a significant programme of investment that sits right at the heart of both our operations and communities.
“While we’re keen to upgrade what’s on offer to customers in Ponteland as soon as possible, we felt that the temporary closure of our branch at the same time that Barclays is choosing to move out of the area would cause too much inconvenience all round, so we’ll now be keeping things as they are until later in the year.
“We’ll let Ponteland customers know once the rearranged dates for the branch refurbishment have been confirmed, and will look forward to introducing them to our modern, open plan branch design later next year.”