A HARTLEPOOL woman has returned to her home town to oversee a chain of discount retail stores.
Natalie Barnard, 28, has returned to manage the new Cash Generator Store in the Middleton Grange Shopping Centre.
And for the woman who started out as a glass collector in a Hartlepool bar, the success does not end there.
She is group store manager for four branches of Cash Generator in the North-East, which are Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Stockton and South Shields.
The Hartlepool branch is operated by Ransu CG Ltd and has created six new jobs for the town.
Natalie, a former Manor College of Technology student, joined Cash Generator in October 2005 and has worked across the region.
Before that, she worked in Bar Paris in Hartlepool as a glass collector and worked her way up to manager.
She said: “I needed a challenge and I decided on a change in career.”
She moved to Cash Generator where she worked first as a store assistant and once again made her way through the ranks.
Natalie became manager and now group store manager.
The Hartlepool branch is the fourth in the North-East and gives shoppers a chance to buy items such as musical instruments and games consoles.
The store also buys unwanted products for cash, as well as offering financial services including cheque cashing, short-term loans and foreign currency.
Natalie said: “I am delighted to be back working in Hartlepool. It is a great shopping town and I am sure there are lots of savvy locals out there looking for a bargain that we can help.”
She said her hopes for the future included: “Helping the owner to make the business even more successful, to open more stores around the North-East and perhaps more further afield.”
Director of Ransu Group Dush Alawattegama said: “Hartlepool is a great town and we are delighted that the company is expanding it’s business throughout the North-East.”