Founded 160 years ago to support the local community, Leek Building Society – recently named the UK’s Best Building Society – is demonstrating this support more than ever today. The Staffordshire-based business which provides mortgages and savings nationwide has just completed a comprehensive refurbishment programme which took in all 12 of its local branches across Cheshire, Shropshire, Derbyshire as well as Staffordshire.

At a time when many other financial institutions have been closing their branches, the Leek has gone against the grain and proudly affirmed its commitment to supporting its local customers and the high street.

The refurbishment programme started in 2021 where all branches have undergone a makeover to reflect a more modern and inviting space, combining contemporary design with innovative functionality to improve customers’ experience.

In addition to providing transaction services, there are more meeting points and ‘engagement zones’ for informal chats about products and services. Each branch has also committed to supporting local community organisations, charities, and businesses, and many have already held in-branch events to demonstrate this support.

Chief Executive, Andrew Healy commented “Our branches are absolutely at the heart of our business and this investment programme underlines their importance. It represents a statement of commitment to our local communities and to the high street. Our members consistently tell us that while they like the convenience of our online services, they want the ‘human touch’, they want local access to their money and to face-to-face services. I would like to add that it was great to have the support of local contractors, in particular Garry Machin’s Kraft Interiors team, to renovate our branches. They were a pleasure to deal with and their work was of the highest quality.”

Elaborating about the Leek being named the UK’s Best Building Society in the 2023 British Bank Awards, Andrew stated “This award reflects the outstanding personal service of our staff and the exceptional feedback from our members regarding our standards, as well as their delight with our upgraded premises and our commitment to retaining a local presence.”

Head of Branch Network & Customer Support, Ian Blurton said: “Our members greatly value our branches as a place to have face-to-face conversations with our colleagues, however our offices were looking a bit tired. Following the refurbishment programme, I’m proud that all our branches now have a consistent and modern feel that’s more inviting. We’ve improved the space for members to use, whether that’s transacting on their accounts, having informal chats about their finances, researching our products and services, or finding out more about how we’re supporting our communities. The response from both staff and colleagues has been fantastic and I look forward to many more members – both new and existing – using our branches over the coming years.”