The North East’s biggest building society is extending the investment it has made in County Durham this year having begun work to upgrade its Consett branch.

Newcastle Building Society is creating a modern, open plan space at the Middle Street branch in the town as part of an ongoing multi-million pound investment and improvement programme across its entire branch network.

The  1,076 sq ft space in Consett will deliver a modern and welcoming high street environment, providing customers easy access to services, information and advice, as well as to a private meeting space.  The branch is expected to open in early November.

Rowlands Gill-based STP Construction has been appointed as lead contractor on the Consett refurbishment project.  A temporary branch will be maintained within the building while work is carried out to ensure local customers can continue to access the services they require.

Over the last few months, the Society has revealed plans for new branches in Bishop Auckland and Barnard Castle, with the latter having opened its doors to welcome customers earlier this month.

The opening of the new Bishop Auckland branch next year will take the number of Newcastle Building Society branches in County Durham up to six.

Stuart Miller, customer director at Newcastle Building Society, said: “While many other financial institutions are closing branches across the North East, we are extending our contribution to maintaining the vitality and sustainability of local communities around the region and reaffirming our commitment to the people living in them.

“We are investing heavily in enhancing and upgrading a modern branch network that sits right at the heart of our operations, and our growing presence across County Durham is central to this process.

“The reaction we’ve had from customers in locations where we’ve already made improvements to existing offices or opened new branches has been really positive, and we think our Consett customers will be very pleased with their new facilities too.”