Society in talks over town office

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IPSWICH Building Society has entered negotiations with estate agents Balmforth to offer building society services in Mildnehall.

The two businesses are discussing the possibility of offering simple building society services from the estate agents in High Street.

Robert Lewis, managing partner of Balmforth, said: “Both them and us firmly believe there’s a market in Mildenhall and the surrounding villages for a traditional building society.”

Ipswich Building Society is looking to feel the gap left in the town by the closure of Nationwide in August, however the building society is not interested in taking over the market place property previously occupied by Nationwide.

The mechanics of operating the services from the estate agents are currently being explored and the businesses have encouraged those who would be interested in using services to drop into Balmforth and let them know.

Cllr David Bowman, Forest Heath District Council’s portfolio holder for economic development and tourism, said: “It’s the basic services we need. We need the alternative to the main banks and this will do as good a job as we can possibly get and will hopefully have flexible hours.”

The estate agent’s staff will be trained to offer the building society’s services, with the possibility of a specialised member of staff being employed in the future.

Mr Lewis said the two businesses were hoping to make an announcement as to whether the partnership would be going forward at the end of the month.

Cllr Bowman has said the district council would continue to look for new occupiers for the building previously occupied by Nationwide in the town’s market place.