A NORTH-EAST building society has promised to go on sharing its profits with local good causes for the next five years.

Darlington Building Society has donated five per cent of its profits to support the community since 2017, helping a wide range of groups and initiatives.

Darlington Building Society normally reviews the pledge annually, but chief executive Andrew Craddock has announced that the Society will maintain the five per cent pledge until 2025 to tie in with the 200th anniversary of the world’s first public railway between Stockton and Darlington.

Mr Craddock unveiled the ‘five per cent for five years’ pledge to members at this year’s annual general meeting, which went ahead virtually. The board is also exploring ways to top up the amount given to communities during that period.

“The five per cent pledge is close to our hearts, so we want it to continue despite all the challenges. Our communities still need our help so that financial support will remain in place, not just annually, but for the next five years,” said Mr Craddock.

Staff volunteering is also a big part of Darlington Building Society’s community commitment and that has also been reinforced during the Covid-19 crisis – staff were kept on full pay, even though some have been working part-time. They were encouraged to use spare time to help their local communities, with a large number signing up to volunteer for the NHS.

As a southerner, being born and raised in Buckinghamshire, Mr Craddock, impressed by the strength of community spirit in the North-East, added:“We are all going through difficult times, but it is the acts of kindness, and the way people are looking out for each other, that have been so inspiring.

“That is particularly evident in the North-East – and I’m proud that Darlington Building Society is playing its full part and has remained open for business throughout.”