A YEAR after its launch, Tynedale Community Bank has over 100 members and over £230,000 on deposit.

The initiative, which was officially launched by the Archbishop of York in November last year, came in response to more and more banks withdrawing services from the high street.

Working in conjunction with Durham-based Prince Bishops Credit Union, the community bank allows people to save and borrow money, with interest at a much lower rate than other lenders.

As a not-for-profit enterprise, any money accrued by the bank through interest will be ploughed back into the local community.

Co-founder Lauren Langton said: “It has been an amazing year and this is a real community success story.

“We were launched at Hexham Abbey by the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, and new members joined immediately.

“We now have over 100 members, with £230,000 on deposit, and loans of tens of thousands of pounds granted.”

And plans are already under way to expand the offering. “We have a very positive working partnership with the Hexham Job Centre,” explained Hexham’s MP Guy Opperman, who co-founded the initiative.

It is also hoped that a partnership with social landlord, Isos, can be established and a LifeSavers Project is planned to help with financial education in schools.