Knaresborough library has announced plans with Newcastle Building Society to open a branch in its building to plug the gap for much-needed financial facilities in the town.
Since the last bank in Knaresborough closed in 2021, North Yorkshire County Council and Harrogate Borough Council have worked closely with the Society to maintain local access to financial services.
Scheduled to open in the summer, the community branch will offer the Society’s full range of services.
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 within 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.”
This will be Newcastle Building Society’s 31st branch across the North East, North Yorkshire and Cumbria, following the successful launch of two rural community branches in Hawes and Wooler in Northumberland, which opened in February 2020.
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.
“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.”
Councillor Ed Darling, who raised the issue of banking services in Knaresborough with the Borough Council’s Cabinet previously, commented: “This is another positive news story for Knaresborough and its residents. In person banking services are missed in our town and I am pleased to be able to welcome Newcastle Building Society to Knaresborough.”
Along with supporting Newcastle Building Society, Harrogate Borough Council has also worked with Barclays to bring their mobile banking service to the historic market town.