Dozens of Consett customers defied the wet winter weather to attend the official opening of the town’s newly-upgraded branch of Newcastle Building Society.
The Society has upgraded the facilities available at its Middle Street branch in the town as part of its ongoing multi-million-pound investment and improvement programme across its entire branch network.
Well-known local businessman Barry Kingston, owner of the nearby Barry’s Bargain Superstore, was invited to cut the ribbon at the special Christmas-themed event.
Entertainment from local singer Laura Skelton and free refreshment also formed part of the event.
The upgraded branch provides a modern welcoming High Street environment, and offers customers easy access to services, information and advice, as well as to a private meeting space.
Over the last few months, Newcastle Building Society has revealed plans for new branches in Bishop Auckland and Barnard Castle, with the latter welcoming customers for the first time last month.
The opening of the new Bishop Auckland branch next year will take the number of Society branches across County Durham up to six.
The Society is now more than two thirds of the way through an ambitious branch improvement programme which will see 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 North Yorkshire.
Andy Rose, manager at Newcastle Building Society’s Consett branch, said: “While the weather outside was frightful, we had a great atmosphere inside the branch and we’re very glad that so many customers managed to join us for our opening event.
“While many other financial institutions are closing branches across the North East, the Society is investing in enhancing and upgrading a modern branch network that sits right at the heart of our operations.
“Barry is a well-known local figure who, like us, has invested in maintaining the vitality and sustainability of the local community and we’re grateful that he could take the time to carry out our official opening.”