A BUSINESS support organisation boss is stepping down from a senior role at a mutual.

James Ramsbotham is leaving his role as Darlington Building Society chairman, a position he has held since 2013.

His departure was last night described as “the end of an era”.

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Mr Ramsbotham, who is also chief executive at the North East England Chamber of Commerce, will be replaced by board member Jack Cullen.

Reflecting on his tenure, Mr Ramsbotham said he was proud to have played his part in the mutual’s growth, adding it was his hope that homebuyers will continue to look at the society when trying to get on the housing ladder.

He said: “Our society was created some 162 years ago to assist local people to purchase their own homes and this is still at the heart of what we do.

“I am incredibly proud, that after all these years, we have a regional building society that is driven by the same values and purpose as it was back in 1856.”

Mr Ramsbotham served on the mutual’s board since 2006, and Colin Fyfe, chief executive, said it was testament to his leadership and dedication that he served his maximum term.

“It is the end of an era,” added Mr Fyfe.

“James has been a fantastic chairman and leaves a society that looks set for a strong future.

“There can be no better legacy than that.”