Case Study: Upper Dales Community Partnership Ltd & Newcastle Building Society
Over the past 20 years the Upper Dales Community Partnership (UDCP) has seen incredible growth as a community enterprise; in the employment it provides, the services it offers to the community, and the area it reaches with that provision. This case study shows how the partnership worked with Newcastle Building Society, helping both them and UDCP become a valued asset and presence on the high street where most banks are pulling away. The last bank closed in 2018, so the opening of Newcastle Building Society was a very welcome addition to the Community Hub situated in Upper Wensleydale.
Located in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales, the UDCP has been providing services locally to the community for over 20 years. It began with a group of 6 Parish Councillors who wanted to retain services for locals that were being stripped away from rural locations. A partnership began with the District Council and local Police, and the organisation has since grown to a workforce of 25 with a turnover of £3M. The Partnership provides District Council, North Yorkshire County Council Library and Post Office Ltd services; UDCP runs a community bus company that holds service and home to school transport contracts with the county, as well as providing community run excursions; in 2017 UDCP took over the lease to run the local petrol station, becoming the only community run garage in England at the time. With so many of the high street banks pulling away from the high streets, including rural ones where they leave no banking provision for many miles, Newcastle Building Society is stepping in to reach out to those communities and give back to our high streets. Having lost the last bank 18 months ago, it was the perfect opportunity for NBS to set up in Upper Wensleydale. It was also a great opportunity for the Partnership, to help provide the community with yet another vital service that was being lost, and also for NBS to stretch their wings further afield into a more rural setting than their usual modus operandi.