The North East’s largest building society has teamed up with a local volunteer-run Gateshead library to help support its aim to make the library ‘a great place to go’.

Newcastle Building Society will provide financial support for at least the next three years for Whickham Library to use towards any funding gaps, and further enhance the library facility and community activities.

As part of the support, the Society will provide an ongoing series of talks, branded ‘Big Talks’ which will focus on a range of community needs, including: talks on Dementia Awareness, retirement planning, internet security, buying a house and investment and estate planning.

Newcastle Building Society is continuing to demonstrate a strong commitment to high streets across the North East with its multi-million pound branch investment programme which will see it upgrade or relocate all of its 27 branches across North East England and Cumbria by the end of 2019 and open new branches in Hawes, Wooler, Bishop Auckland and Barnard Castle.

Stuart Miller, customer director at Newcastle Building Society, said: “As the North East’s largest building society, we’re committed to supporting our local High Streets and the communities within which we operate.

“We believe that the provision of local services such as libraries is crucial to maintaining thriving local communities and we’re therefore pleased to be working with Gateshead County Council and the fantastic volunteers at Whickham Volunteer Library Association.”

Allan Short, chair of Whickham Volunteer Library Association, said: “We are delighted to have the support of the Newcastle Building Society in providing a Library Service at the heart of our local community. Whickham is enriched by this community endeavour and all support is greatly appreciated by our volunteers and our membership.

“The Building Society has not only provided valuable information on financial literacy, but has also been a great advocate of all the events and activities taking place in our library and in Whickham.  Stephen Pattinson and his staff are valuable supporters of the Library and we are particularly grateful for Stephen’s efforts to raise money for us by competing in the Great North Run.”