Published: 24 March 2022
Darlington Building Society’s ambitious community investment programme has continued with the re-opening of its Stockton branch following a major refurbishment.
The Mayor of Stockton, Councillor Kevin Faulks, cut the ribbon to declare the new-look branch open. He praised the Society for its support in making the High Street more vibrant.
Councillor Faulks said: “It’s fantastic to see Darlington Building Society showing ongoing commitment to Stockton with the refurbishment of its High Street branch, ensuring members continue to receive the high service standards.
“Despite the growth of online banking, people still want to use branches. There is nothing better than that face-to-face, personal service.”
Major changes are taking place in Stockton town centre, with the Castlegate shopping centre due to be demolished later this year to make way for a riverside park.
Along with the recent £28m redevelopment of the Stockton Globe theatre, there will be a greater focus on retail activity at the northern end of the High Street, giving the Society’s branch a stronger presence.
The refurbishment of the Stockton branch is also another example of the Society investing in its own talent. The official reopening coincided with Amy Walker becoming Stockton Branch Manager, succeeding Alex Robson. Alex in turn has been promoted to Senior Branch Manager of Stockton, Yarm and Northallerton.
Amy said: “The refurbishment looks amazing. It’s so much more modern and fresh. With all the changes taking place in the High Street, our location will become more prominent. If we are seen more, that means we can help more people.”
Alex added: “The refurbishment of our Stockton branch is great timing in view of the restructure of the High Street. It puts Darlington Building Society right at the heart of an exciting new era for the town.”
A modern space for members and staff
Members will benefit from spacious new facilities, including a bigger banking hall and a new ‘house pod’ area for discussions with staff. A private administration area for staff has also been created.
Chief Executive Andrew Craddock said: “This latest refurbishment at Stockton – following Guisborough, Barnard Castle, Yarm, Redcar and Northallerton – further underlines our support for efforts to rejuvenate the High Street. The focus on making our branches more modern, comfortable and accessible for members and staff, is an ongoing commitment, with more investment to be announced soon.”
Niki Barker, the Society’s Director of People and Culture said: “We want to create environments that are welcoming and modern. As well as improving facilities for our existing members, we want to attract new, younger members.
“It’s also important for our staff to have a working environment they can take pride in, and which is good for their well-being.”
The Stockton branch is supporting five local charities as part of the Society’s Local 5 initiative. They are: A Way Out, Daisy Chain, Corner House youth project, Nitelight CIC, and Red Balloons Physical and Mental Wellbeing.
Darlington Building Society donated £250 to the Mayor’s charity, helping local people, as a thank you for attending the reopening.
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