The reception marked the completion of a ten-week refurbishment programme at the Bedford Street branch, which has been designed to improve the experience customers have when visiting the branch, and to provide the most appropriate facilities for anyone wanting to discuss their personal finances on site.
A third meeting room has been added to the branch, as well as a new front desk, and the whole ‘front of house’ area of the branch has been opened up for public use.
As part of the nautical theme to the reopening event, complimentary fish and chips were provided to customers who came along, with face painting, games and other children’s activities put on to help entertain younger visitors.
Representatives of the Tynemouth Volunteer Life Brigade, which has been the North Shields branch team’s dedicated charity for the last two years, were also on hand to speak about the organisation’s history and work.
Guests were also asked to nominate people across the community who they thought deserved a gift from the Newcastle through a Lucky Catch competition.
The refurbishment is the latest stage of the Society’s continuing investment in enhancing its branch network and follows similar projects that were carried out in the Newcastle’s Chester le Street and Cramlington branches towards the end of last year.
Branch manager Andy Leech, who leads the Newcastle’s seven-strong North Shields team, says; “The whole branch has been completely changed from top to bottom, and it’s been made so much brighter and more customer friendly.
“We’ve been operating from a temporary branch down the road over the past couple of months while the refurbishment was carried out. Our customers have kept asking us when the new branch was going to be ready, so it’s exciting to now be able to share it with them.
“We’ve had lots of really positive feedback from customers about the changes we’ve made and it was great to be able to welcome so many of them along to join in with our reopening celebrations.”