Dozens of local people have turned out to take a look at Newcastle Building Society’s new home in Whitley Bay.

The Society has created a new open plan branch at 303 Whitley Road, close to the junction with Park Avenue, as part of an ongoing multi-million-pound investment programme across the whole of its branch network.

North Tyneside elected mayor Norma Redfearn CBE was the guest of honour at the branch’s launch event and cut the ribbon to complete its official opening.

The new 3,315 sq ft branch provides Society customers with better access to services, information and advice, as well as improved meeting spaces to discuss all aspects of personal financial planning.

A community area offering a free space in which local people, groups and good causes can share information about events and activities that are happening in the area also forms part of the design.

Two new jobs have been created as part of the Society’s investment in the new branch, which takes the number of people employed at the branch up to seven.

Newcastle Building Society is nearing the completion of an ambitious branch improvement programme which will see new or improved facilities created in every part of its existing branch network and new branches opening in a number of locations across the North East and North Yorkshire.

Abbe Hurn, manager at Newcastle Building Society’s Whitley Bay branch, says: “There’s been lots of local interest in our new branch as it’s been fitted out over the last few months and it’s great that we can now share it with everyone.

“The Society’s future lies in helping to underpin the sustainability and success of communities like Whitley Bay through this sort of investment, and it backs up our long-term commitment to remaining a fixture on the region’s High Streets.

“We’ve created a fantastic new facility in a vibrant, central part of Whitley Bay and got lots of lovely comments about it from visitors to our opening event.”

Norma Redfearn CBE, North Tyneside’s Elected Mayor, adds: “At a time when so many financial institutions are turning their backs on the high street, it’s wonderful to see Newcastle Building Society doing exactly the opposite.

“This move puts a community branch back into the heart of the rejuvenated Whitley Bay and I’m confident that we will see major benefits for local people and businesses alike.”