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Posts Tagged ‘Penrith Building Society’

Penrith Building Society Builds a Water Pump in Africa

Thursday, August 6th, 2015

A community in Zimbabwe is now benefitting from clean drinking water, thanks to a donation through AquAid by the Penrith Building Society.

Penrith Building Society installed two AquAid water coolers in its offices over nine years ago, with a donation being made to The Africa Trust for every bottle of water the company purchases.  The result of this is that AquAid has been able to buy an Elephant Pump on Penrith Building Society’s behalf for a community who previously had no access to safe, clean drinking water.

Amyn Fazal, Chief Executive at Penrith Building Society said: “It is fantastic to think that a community in Zimbabwe is able to have its own fresh drinking water well, thanks to the donations we have been able to make installing water coolers in our offices for use by our customers and staff. I believe strongly that we all live not just in our local community but belong to a worldwide community and we all share a common responsibility. It is part of our corporate social responsibility to put back into the community and it is great to be able to support such a worthwhile project in Africa. The Elephant Pumps that AquAid provide are vital to communities such as this one in Manicaland.”

Elephant Pumps are also used by millions of people in over seven thousand other communities. The Africa Trust is working towards providing clean water, through the Elephant Pumps, for more communities throughout Africa, including countries like Tanzania, Uganda and most recently, Liberia, through donations by companies such as Penrith Building Society.

Fern Shaw, AquAid Africa, said: “It is so important that AquAid receives help from companies like Penrith Building Society.  It makes a huge difference to people’s lives in these communities where they may otherwise have to walk several miles to find water and even then, may find it contaminated.  It is only through the ongoing support of businesses that we are able to continue to carry out this vital work.”

The Elephant Pump is based on a 2,000 year old Chinese design that has been adapted to be made stronger, more durable and from local materials available in rural sub-Saharan African communities.

New Look for Penrith’s Building Society

Thursday, July 30th, 2015

Penrith Building Society branch and head office are to be refurbished at the end of July.  The Society will be closed to the public for just one morning on Saturday 25th July while the builders get to work, the painters charge up their brushes and the technology and furniture is upgraded.


Over the past few years the society, which opened its doors in 1877, has undergone a transformation as the demand from customers for modern technology and competition in the financial services sector has increased. The Society’s branding changes began in 2012 assisted by Acorn Marketing and Jili Allen Creative that gave the society a modern new look, and which better reflected its traditional roots, its range of products and its unique customer services proposition.

A number of local people and businesses have been involved in the redesign project from Acorn Marketing, Jili Allen Creative, AST Signs to Margaret Barrow from MBI Office Furniture whilst the building work, will be undertaken by Atkinson Building Contractors and associated sub contractors Sissons and Lewis Contracting. Customers will see modern new furniture and signage, but which will keep its traditional feel and features.  The main office area and cashiers desks will be realigned to make the area more welcoming and easier to navigate, whilst consultation areas will be added to allow customers to talk about their personal financial affairs in private with specially trained customer representatives and mortgage advisors.  New signage, lighting and furnishings will add to the fresh new look, which will give the Society a brighter and more welcoming atmosphere.

Amyn Fazal, CEO of Penrith Building Society commented,

“People should remember that Penrith has its own local building society and as financial services have increased in complexity, so has the demand from customers and business associates. We have served local people for generations and we now also have an increasingly national presence which I see as a Cumbrian export. The interior has been in need of a well needed update for some time now and our changes will ensure that Penrith Building Society retains its place as one of Penrith’s iconic and flagship businesses. We have listened to feedback from customers and staff and have acted to ensure the changes that are made are complementary to the traditional values of the Society, yet give us a fresh and modern new look.”  

The major refurbishment work will start on Saturday 25th July when the branch will be closed for that one morning only.   However the team will be on hand at Penrith Show to talk to customers more about the plans and future developments.  The Building Society will be open as usual from Monday 27th July with a formal launch taking place soon after when customers and invited business colleagues will be able to meet staff and directors.

New brand for Penrith Building Society

Tuesday, July 30th, 2013

After over a year of planning and consultation, Penrith Building Society launched its new brand at Penrith Show on the 27th July.

The Building Society, like any other business constantly reviews its strategy and over the past few years has had to contend with the global financial crisis and also a severe recession. In a tough market, the Society needs to remain competitive and attract new customers, but also embrace new marketing concepts, such as digital marketing.

One of the main objectives in the Society’s strategic review was to look at how the Building Society represents itself through its brand.  The old brand had served the business well over many years but it was felt that it didn’t fully reflect what the business was about. In order to begin the process of refreshing its brand, the team enlisted my help in mid 2012.  I began by working with the staff of the Building Society to develop ideas and concepts that they wanted to convey in the new branding.  Once a clear direction was identified, I enlisted the help of local firm, Jili Allen Creative to develop a range of graphic concepts to give a flavour of what could be achieved.

It was important that staff members of the Building Society embraced the new brand, that it got approval of board members and most importantly that it was appealing to customers.  Focus group meetings were held with a cross section of local people from school children, business people, parents and grandparents. The Building Society also held an open day during the Winter Droving event in the town and invited people in to look at the proposed concepts.  I analysed the feedback received and some clear conclusions could be drawn as to how the brand should be taken forward.

The approved concept is more contemporary and the original seal has been used incorporated into a logo which is more legible.  The strap line “Building Society for Life” has also been used to remind people that the Building Society provides a service for customers that can follow them through their lives from junior savings accounts, mortgages for first time and seasoned buyers, general savings accounts and insurance.   The Society wanted the brand wanted to appeal to a wider cross section of the community both new and existing customers who have been members of the Society for many years.

The new brand is reflected in promotional literature such as posters and new brochures, folders and forms as well as business stationery.  The launch will take place in several stages and will be rolled out from the 27th July.
Chief Executive Amyn Fazal comments,
“We are delighted with the results of our brand development project.  The new brand reflects our position as a modern mutual with traditional values and we hope all our customers like it as well.  It was really important for us to get this exercise right so we could attract new customers, but also still appeal to our existing and loyal members.  We remain open to new ideas, new ways of working and our aim is to continue to deliver simple, great value products with the kind of personal service that we are renowned for locally and we would like more people to know about us and what we can do.”

The next stage over the coming months is the launch of a new website followed by work to reflect the new brand in branch in order to create an atmosphere that is professional, warm and welcoming…watch this space!!