A historic Carlisle building is set to become the new city home of the North East’s biggest building society later this year.

Newcastle Building Society is investing in creating a new open plan branch at 65 English Street, just a short way along the road from its existing Carlisle office, as part of a continuing multi-million pound investment programme across the whole of its branch network.

The Society is aiming to move into the four-storey building before the end of the year, and as well as creating a modern space with all the facilities that customers would expect, it has also committed to maintaining the building’s key existing features, including its grand staircase, stained glass window and feature ceiling.

The new 2,000 sq ft branch will provide 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 will also form part of the design, which will provide a free space in which local people, groups and good causes can share information about events and activities that are happening in the local area.

The existing English Street branch will remain open until the new one is ready for occupation, with the six-strong branch team moving across in early November.

Stuart Miller, customer director of Newcastle Building Society, said: “At a time when many financial institutions are closing branches in towns across the region, we remain fully committed to maintaining and enhancing a modern branch network that sits right at the heart of both our operations and these communities.

“The space we have secured in Carlisle is truly magnificent and maintaining the building’s historic character as part of its refurbishment matches well with our own history of helping people save and buy their own homes for more than 150 years.

“Our branch investment programme is designed to ensure our customers have access to the high quality services and facilities that they should rightly demand of a modern financial institution like ourselves.

“We’re excited at the opportunity of creating a fantastic new branch in Carlisle and are looking forward to sharing it with customers later in the year.”