A North-East building society today unveils the latest stage of its major investment programme when one of its branches opens following a full refurbishment.

Darlington Building Society’s Northallerton branch will open from 9.30am today (Monday, November 23) with customers, staff, and the local community benefiting from a fresh, welcoming new look and improved facilities.

The popular High Street branch closed on November 7 as part of the Society’s investment in its branch network, and follows the refurbishment of branches in Guisborough, Yarm and Barnard Castle in 2019.

Chief Executive, Andrew Craddock, said: “Despite the global economic pressures of the pandemic, the good news is that Darlington Building Society is continuing to deliver on its commitment to invest in the future, for the benefit of our members, employees and the communities we serve.

“This latest refurbishment has three main objectives: to enhance the customer experience; improve the working environment for staff; and bring the branch even closer to the community.

“We are looking forward to welcoming our customers back to the all-new Northallerton branch – under Covid safe regulations, of course – and we hope they will be impressed by the changes.”

The increased community focus at the branch will be aided by a new digital display screen, facing out into the street, to help keep people informed about what’s happening.

Mr Craddock added: “We want our branches to be community focal points, and this is taking that to a new level. The Northallerton branch will be the first to have a high-tech community screen, and I look forward to seeing it in action.”

Another feature of the refurbishment will be a mural of Northallerton Town Hall, which will be displayed in the “pod” area where members get expert advice from staff.

“We wanted to bring a little bit of Northallerton inside the branch to make members feel more at home, and this is something we’ll be looking to repeat in other branches,” explained Mr Craddock.

As part of the Society’s commitment to being a model employer, improvements are also being made to the back-office area, so staff can be more comfortable during their breaks.

The Society has also continued to demonstrate its support for local businesses. Stockton-based AlphaGraphics, Middlesbrough-based TWIIST and Newton Aycliffe-based Trade Glass have all worked on the internal and external design of the new branch. With Redcar-based Dynamic Maintenance Solutions as the Society’s mechanical and electrical sub-contractor.