Hello High Row
The Society is moving its Darlington branch from its current location to a larger, more prominent building on High Row this autumn.
The empty building, on the corner of Post House Wynd, has a long history as a bank, having been opened by the North Eastern Banking Company in 1897, and later becoming Martins Bank.
Louise Thorpe, Darlington Building Society’s Distribution Director, said: “Moving to a location that is more prominent and modern is a fantastic opportunity to grow the business, while also creating a better environment for our members and colleagues.”
Following the Government’s decision to create 1,400 jobs by making Darlington the location for the Treasury’s new northern headquarters, the Society’s move is seen as another significant boost for the town centre.
“These are exciting times for Darlington, and we want to be part of that optimistic, sustainable future, added Louise. “We are also very conscious of our history in Darlington and great care will be taken to represent that special heritage in the new branch.”
Right time, right place
The move to the former Virgin Money building has been hailed by Darlington Borough Council’s Deputy Leader, Councillor Chris McEwan, as “a great vote of confidence in a great town centre by a great local institution”.
Councillor McEwan, who is the council’s portfolio holder for the economy, added: “Against the backdrop of banks closing high street branches, it’s tremendous to see Darlington Building Society showing the way forward by moving right to the heart of our town centre.
“Darlington Building Society has been a core part of the town for 167 years, and this relocation underlines its commitment to continuing to provide the best possible service to the local community.”
Darlington MP Peter Gibson added: “I am delighted to see Darlington Building Society investing further in Darlington by taking a premier spot in the heart of our most historic address in the town centre. I wish them the very best for the future in their new location and hope it’s a sign of more positive investment in High Row.”
The announcement comes three months after the Society relocated its Bishop Auckland branch to a more spacious, modern building, in Newgate Street, as part of a major investment programme covering all of its nine branches.
The Society’s Deputy Chief Executive, Chris Hunter, said: “Darlington Building Society has a proud history in Darlington dating back to 1856, and we are thrilled to announce this exciting new era by investing heavily in our flagship branch.
“At a time when banks are closing branches, we have continued to consistently invest in our branch network while also making significant advances in technology and online banking. It’s about giving our members better access to our services and more choice than ever before in managing their finances.”
Work on the new branch is starting this week with the doors expecting to open to members on the 30 October. Follow the progress on our Hello High Row page.