RESIDENTS will face a lengthy trip to the nearest Darlington Building Society after it was confirmed the town branch will close early next year.
Four members of staff, two full-time and two part-time, will lose their jobs when the York Road branch closes on Friday, February 28.
Bosses have reluctantly given notice to affected members alerting them of the closure, saying the Society could not justify keeping the branch open following a steady decline in business volume and footfall over the past few years.
Hartlepool residents now face a trip to Stockton or Middlesbrough to the nearest branches of Darlington Building Society.
However a spokeswoman for the Society said a postal service will be introduced for town members who will be provided with pre-paid envelopes on request and will be encouraged to set up standing orders.
A spokeswoman for Darlington Building Society told the Mail: “The Society has reluctantly given notice to affected members advising them of the closure of its Hartlepool branch based at Jubilee House, in York Road, Hartlepool.
“The decision was prompted by the maturity of the lease on the premises.
“After careful consideration the Society could not justify a future liability for a branch where business volumes and footfall have been declining steadily over the past few years.
“Affected members of the Society have been given 12 weeks personal written notice of the closure and are being helped to maintain their account relationships with Darlington Building Society with the introduction of a postal service.
“They will be provided with pre-paid envelopes on request and will be encouraged to set up standing orders. The Society will do all it can to minimise any inconvenience to its Hartlepool customers.”
The closure of the Hartlepool branch coincides with the redesign of the branch in Stockton’s High Street, which will soon be the closest for Hartlepool residents.
The spokeswoman added: “The two full-time and two part-time staff members employed at the Society’s Hartlepool branch have been advised that their jobs will be redundant following the branch’s closure.
“However, we will of course support them as much as we can and will assist the staff members in seeking alternative employment by working closely with a recruitment agency.
“Darlington Building Society continues to invest in its remaining network of 10 branches through a rolling programme of upgrades and refurbishment with work commencing shortly on the redesign of the Society’s Stockton branch.
“The Society is also making a substantial investment in technology for the future benefit of all its members.”