A PROMINENT retail site will be occupied for the first time in two years.

Work is under way to transform part of the former Dickinson’s Furnishers building on Hexham’s Beaumont Street to house the town’s branch of Newcastle Building Society.

The society, which is currently located next door to the empty building, will occupy 1,410 sq ft, amounting to half of the ground floor of the premises.

The building has stood empty since Dickinson’s went into administration in December 2017.

Stuart Miller, customer director at Newcastle Building Society, said: “This is a real landmark location in Hexham and we’re extremely pleased to be investing in bringing it back to use.”

The news of the move has been well-received in some quarters of the town.

Hexham Community Partnership chairman Peter Rodger said: “At a time when there is a perception that Hexham has too many empty premises, a significantly expanded Newcastle Building Society high street presence in the town is good news.

“It also fits well with the partnership’s work on the expression of interest in Heritage Action Zone funding.”

Work to transform the site will begin next month and will provide easier access for customers, complete with a community space available for local groups to use.