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Coventry Building Society opens new branch in Oxford city centre

The Business Magazine article image for: Coventry Building Society opens new branch in Oxford city centre
20 December 2021

Coventry Building Society , now the UK's second largest building society, has opened a new branch in the heart of Oxford city centre.

Chris Wright, Director at Avison Young who advised the building society throughout its relocation, said, “The move into Oxford’s prime retail area will enable Coventry Building Society to be at the heart of visitor footfall. With its new position at the entrance to the Westgate Shopping Centre, the building society now has a valuable shop front to help attract new customers and reflect the values of the business in a way their previous location was not able to do.”

The latest branch design is being incorporated into the refit of the c3,000 sq ft unit at 19 Queen Street, over basement, ground and two upper floors.

Avison Young negotiated a new ten-year lease with commercial landlord Brockton Everlast, at a rent of £130,000 a year.

Chris added: “The high street across the UK has been at the centre of a much-documented structural shift, accelerated by Covid, with footfall levels currently remaining around 20 per cent below their pre-pandemic levels. Those retailers and services who thrive on the high street offer a personal experience for their customers that they cannot get online.

“By understanding the needs of its customers and bringing its new look branch right into the heart of Oxford’s shopping quarter, Coventry Building Society is giving a real boost to the city and demonstrates a vote of confidence for the future."

In July Coventry Building Society revealed, in its half year report, that it had made a profit before tax of £124 million for the six months to 30 June 2021 compared to £22 million reported in the same period of 2020.

As it released the report, Steve Hughes, Chief Executive Coventry Building Society, said: "The first half of 2021 has been dominated by the ongoing effects of the pandemic with the continued impact on health, people's lives and livelihoods. As we move into the second half of the year there is cause for cautious optimism as we transition to a new norm but it is important we recognise the efforts of so many in what has been such a challenging time.

"During these six months we have delivered a strong financial performance and made good progress against our strategic goals. This performance reflects an exceptional commitment to members and customers by my colleagues across the Society and I am so proud of what they have delivered. We continue to focus on running the Society in the interest of our members and ensuring that we are set up for long term success.

"We are clear on our purpose and have refreshed our strategy which remains grounded in mutuality with a place for all our stakeholders, whether members, colleagues, the local communities we support or our business partners. Our brand identity has also been updated to reflect our purpose and belief that we are truly 'All together, better'."

The building society increased mortgage lending and its support for first time buyers with lower deposits

During the first six months of the year, it grew its mortgage book by £2.4 billion (30 June 2020: £0.8 billion). Its mortgage growth rate of 5.5 per cent for the six months to 30 June 2021 was more than  twice the rate of growth seen in the market.

In May this year, Coventry Building Society announced that it had struck a landmark naming rights deal  for one of the UKs leading multipurpose sports, business and entertainment venues based in the Midlands.

Coventrys Ricoh Arena is now known as the Coventry Building Society Arena for the next ten years from this summer, after Coventry Building Society agreed a long-term deal with the venue owners Wasps Group.

https://www.businessinnovationmag.co.uk/wasps-group-agree-major-new-coventry-stadium-naming-rights-deal/


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Nicky Godding is editor of The Business Magazine. Before her journalism career, she worked mainly in public relations moving into writing when she was invited to launch Retail Watch, a publication covering retail and real estate across Europe.

After some years of constant travelling, she tucked away her passport and concentrated on business writing, co-founding a successful regional business magazine. She has interviewed some of the UK’s most successful entrepreneurs who have built multi-million-pound businesses and reported on many science and technology firsts.

She reports on the region’s thriving business economy from start-ups, family businesses and multi-million-pound corporations, to the professionals that support their growth and the institutions that educate the next generation of business leaders.

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