WORK to expand its main Tyne Valley office is part of a building society’s multi-million pound commitment to invest in local branches.

Newcastle Building Society has announced that it is moving from its current base on Hexham’s Beaumont Street to a vacant site next door, the prominent former Dickinson’s Furnishers building which has stood empty since the business went into administration in December 2017.

The society will occupy half of the ground floor of the building, taking a space of 1,410 sq ft to provide a modern and more accessible office to customers.

The new layout will include a community space which will offer a free location for local people and groups to hold meetings and events.

Newcastle Building Society is more than halfway through its ambitious branch improvement programme which will see work on new or improved facilities in all of its existing branches. New branches are set to open across the North-East and Yorkshire too.

Stuart Miller, customer director at Newcastle Building Society, said: “At a time when many financial institutions are closing branches across the region, we are reaffirming our long-term commitment to local communities by investing heavily in maintaining and enhancing a modern branch network that sits right at the heart of our operations.

“We strongly believe our future lies in local communities like Hexham, and we are very much here to stay on the high street.

“By contributing to the vitality of successful, sustainable local communities, we believe we can develop a bright future, hand in hand with local people.

“The reaction we’ve had from customers in locations where we’ve already opened new branches or carried out upgrades to existing offices has been really positive, and we think our Tynedale customers will very much enjoy them too.”

Work on the site is expected to be completed by the end of October.