The North East’s biggest building society is set to take over a landmark retail site in the centre of Hexham.
Newcastle Building Society is creating a new full service and financial advice branch in the former Dickinsons site opposite Hexham Abbey as part of its multi-million pound branch network investment programme.
Work is set to begin next month on transforming the 1,410 sq ft Beaumont Street space into a modern and welcoming environment that offers customers easy access to services, information and advice, as well as a community space.
The community space is a key part of the new design, which offers a free location in which local people, groups and good causes can hold meetings and events.
North East contractor Tri Construction has been appointed to work on the project, which is scheduled to be completed around the end of October.
The Society’s present Hexham branch, which is next door to the new one, will remain open in the meantime.
Newcastle Building Society is more than halfway through an ambitious branch improvement programme which will see work on new or improved facilities in every part of its existing branch network and new branches being opened in a number of locations across the North East and Yorkshire.
Stuart Miller, customer director at Newcastle Building Society, said: “This is a real landmark location in Hexham and we’re extremely pleased to be investing in bringing it back into use.
“At a time when many financial institutions are closing branches across the region, we are reaffirming our long-term commitment to local communities by investing heavily in maintaining and enhancing a modern branch network that sits right at the heart of our operations.
“We strongly believe our future lies in local communities like Hexham, and we are very much here to stay on the High Street.
“By contributing to the vitality of successful, sustainable local communities, we believe we can develop a bright future, hand in hand with local people.
“The reaction we’ve had from customers in locations where we’ve already opened new branches or carried out upgrades to existing offices has been really positive, and we think our Tynedale customers will very much enjoy them too.”
Welcoming Newcastle Building Society’s expansion into new premises, Hexham Community Partnership Chair Peter Rodger added: “At a time when there is a perception that Hexham has too many empty premises, a significantly expanded Newcastle Building Society high street presence in the town is good news, and also fits well with the Partnership’s work on the expression of interest in Heritage Action Zone funding.”