North East contractors get to work on Newcastle Building Society branch refurbishments Release Date: 6 November A raft of North East contractors have started work on creating new, modern open plan designs at two of the region's biggest building society's Tyneside branches. Newcastle Building Society is upgrading its Gosforth and Whickham branches as part of a continuing multi-million pound investment programme across the whole of its branch network. In line with its policy of investing back into communities across the North East, the Society has appointed a team of regional firms to deliver its refurbishment programme. STP Construction of Rowlands Gill has been chosen as the main contractor for the Whickham project, while the Gosforth refurbishment is being led by the Team Valley-based Tri Construction. Newcastle-based MWE Architects has been appointed to oversee the design and provide architectural services for both branches, with Tynemouth chartered engineers, Dodds Associates overseeing Construction Design and Management (CDM) responsibilities. Heating and ventilation specialists Hadrian Air Conditioning of Washington is installing the branches' new air conditioning systems, while the CCTV and door access systems are being provided by Data Fire & Security of Westerhope. The Team Valley depot of ADT Fire and Security will be installing security and fire detection systems in both locations, while Normans of Billingham is supplying all the office furniture and equipment. The new branch designs will provide Society customers in both locations with easier access to services, information and advice, as well as improved meeting spaces to discuss all aspects of personal financial planning. Dedicated community rooms also form part of each new design, which will be a free space in which local people, groups and good causes can hold small meetings and events. Work is now ongoing in both locations, with a view to each branch being ready to reopen before Christmas. Newcastle Building Society is currently working on upgrading or relocating a total of 16 branches between now and early 2020, with the first of these - its relocated Carlisle branch - scheduled to open in mid-November. Stuart Miller, customer director at Newcastle Building Society, said: "We’re continuing to invest heavily in providing the facilities and face-to-face services customers expect of a modern financial institution against a backdrop of significant numbers of regional branch closures by our competitors, and we are seeing increasing numbers of customers coming through our doors as a result. "Supporting the communities where we’re based is central to our identity as the North East’s building society, and being able to call on the services of a range of excellent local firms for these latest projects provides another way in which we deliver benefits for our region. "Our aim is to share the new Gosforth and Whickham branch designs with customers before Christmas, and our project teams are now making good progress towards meeting that deadline."