The region’s largest building society has announced it is to open a new full service and financial advice branch in Bishop Auckland as part of its multi-million pound branch investment programme, growing its network to 31 branches across the region.

The announcement follows recent news that Newcastle Building Society plans to open branches in the deeply rural communities of Hawes in the Yorkshire Dales and Wooler in Northumberland.

Newcastle Building Society’s new branch will be located in the town at 15 Newgate Street, currently the site of a Virgin Money store. Following a planned full refurbishment the new branch will deliver a modern and welcoming environment, providing customers with access to services, information, advice and private meeting spaces.

The Society has also agreed to take over the lease on 303 Whitley Road, Whitley Bay, also being vacated by Virgin Money in the next few weeks. It then plans to re-locate its existing branch on Park View some time towards the end of 2019/ early 2020.

Stuart Miller, customer director, said: “It’s fantastic news for the Society to be opening a branch in Bishop Auckland. Our branches are central to our strategy of supporting local people with friendly, face to face advice and investing in high streets in our region and the local communities in which we operate.”

The new branch in Bishop Auckland will employ five full and part time customer service colleagues and the Society is asking local people to get in touch if they are interested in one of the roles.

The Society is currently in the middle of its multi-million pound branch investment programme where it has committed to refurbishing or relocating every one of its branches by the end of 2019.