Dales farmer and author Amanda Owen has officially open Newcastle Building Society’s new branch in Hawes.
The author of the Yorkshire Shepherdess series of books and star of Channel 5’s Our Yorkshire Farm programme, cut the ribbon at the society’s new community branch in the Upper Wensleydale Community Office.
She was joined as guest of honour at the event by Sir Joseph Pilling, chairman of the Hawes Upper Dales Community Partnership, and Jill McMullon, chair of Hawes &and High Abbotside Parish Council and partner of the late North Yorkshire County Councillor John Blackie, who was instrumental in bringing the company to Hawes when the town was about to be left without any local banking facilities.
Cllr Blackie worked closely with the company’s senior team to develop ideas for how face-to-face financial services might best be provided in the town and identified the community office as the most appropriate location for the new community branch, through which three new jobs have now been created.
Tim Larmour, manager at Newcastle Building Society’s Hawes branch, said: “The town really turned out to welcome Amanda and remember John at our opening event, and it’s wonderful to be able to welcome so many people into the new branch.
“This is a real landmark project for the Society in a truly iconic location, and it’s proof of our continuing commitment to enhancing and upgrading a modern branch network that sits right at the heart of our operations.”
Stuart Miller, customer director at Newcastle Building Society, added: “Providing easy access to face-to-face financial services and advice in innovative ways is a key part of the contribution we make to the long-term sustainability of vibrant communities like Hawes.
“John Blackie’s drive and commitment was absolutely central to making this project a reality – we think he would like what’s been created in the community that he championed for so long and he was very much in everyone’s thoughts on our official opening day.”