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We’re pleased to share our plan to open a branch in Knaresborough, North Yorkshire, in partnership with North Yorkshire County Council, as part of our ongoing commitment to maintain and enhance access to cash and face to face financial services.
Knaresborough is one of an increasing number of towns in the UK that has been left stranded due to an accelerating trend of bank branch closures on the nation’s high streets.
In 2021, after receiving notice that the last bank in Knaresborough was to be closed, Harrogate Borough Council reached out to discuss options for establishing a branch presence to maintain local access to financial services in the community.
We’ve since worked closely with representatives from North Yorkshire County Council and Harrogate Borough Council to drive a positive solution for the people of Knaresborough and the local area. Our new community branch will be based within the town’s popular library building and will offer our full range of services, creating four new jobs in the town including a branch-based financial adviser.
County Councillor Greg White, Executive Member for Libraries, said: “We are delighted to be welcoming Newcastle Building Society into Knaresborough library later this year. They already offer a community branch in Hawes library which has proved very popular with those who need access to cash, and is a great way of multi-purposing an already well-used building.
“The offer of financial services promises to increase footfall into Knaresborough library and encourage new visitors through the doors. We look forward to seeing its grand opening in the summer.”
Bucking the national trend of branch closures, our commitment to maintaining a high street presence across our regional heartland has helped us deliver a unique and innovative community branch concept in a number of locations.
This newest community branch is expected to open later this year and will become our 31st branch across the North East, North Yorkshire and Cumbria, following the successful launch of two rural community branches in Hawes, North Yorkshire, and Wooler, Northumberland, which opened in February 2020.
Following a Covid-enforced pause, we re-commenced our multi-million pound branch investment programme in 2021, including finalising the refurbishment of our branch in Bishop Auckland and the relocation of our West Denton branch to a more convenient and prominent site. A further community branch in Tynemouth is planned to be delivered in partnership with North Tyneside Council in early 2023.
Andrew Haigh, chief executive officer at Newcastle Building Society, said: “We believe in the value of face to face customer contact and maintaining a physical presence within the communities we serve. We’re absolutely committed to our high streets which is why we continue to invest in our branch network and to provide innovative solutions to fit the individual location’s needs, often working in partnership with councils and active local community groups.
“A vibrant high street is essential to the wellbeing of our communities, so despite the ongoing trend of bank branch closures we’re working hard to create innovative and sustainable services for local people. We have exciting plans for Knaresborough so we’re really looking forward to getting started and playing our part in helping this community to thrive.”
Councillor Graham Swift, Harrogate Borough Council’s deputy leader and cabinet member for resources, enterprise and economic development, said: "The issues regarding banking availability in Knaresborough have been well documented, and Harrogate Borough Council has pushed hard to seek new solutions.
"I’d like to thank North Yorkshire County Council and Newcastle Building Society for supporting our ambitions to provide this vital lifeline for the residents of Knaresborough.
“I’m delighted that Newcastle Building Society will be opening a branch in Knaresborough Library and I hope local residents use this service as much as possible."