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GBB has become the first tenant in the town’s 2 Centre Square development, signing a lease for 11,000 sq ft of Grade A office development. Square One Law’s Teesside office partner, Michael Shuker, acted for GB Bank on the lease agreement.

The bank, which will offer fixed-rate savings and provide development finance, is expected to secure its provisional banking licence this Autumn and will then start to trade as GB Bank. Once up and running, it will work with property companies to deliver 2,160 new homes and 770,000 sq ft of office space in the North East alone as part of its pledge to get the region, and the country, building again.

In a boost to Middlesbrough’s job market, recruitment has already started for around 40 roles across finance, risk, customer management, marketing, human resources, IT, lending and savings. The firm estimates a total of 120 jobs will be created, with a focus on recruiting North East talent. GBB will also keep a satellite office in Newcastle where it is currently based.

GBB, whose chairman is former Monzo CEO Paul Rippon, has recently secured a £20m investment from the Teesside Pension Fund.

Chair of the Teesside Pension Fund, Coun David Coupe, said: “It’s been a long-term aspiration of the fund to invest in an attractive and well-controlled local opportunity. It’s excellent that GBB will put down roots in Middlesbrough.

“They have a bold plan for the future and it’s excellent news that they will be based in the heart of our town centre.

Steve Deutsch, CEO of GBB, said: “This is a landmark moment in our journey. Middlesbrough has a reputation as a hotbed for digital tech innovation, making it a natural fit. 2 Centre Square is a hugely impressive building and will make a great base for the team.

“The bank will meet a real need for SME commercial and residential property developers, as we’ll deliver the finance and relationship support that’s lacking at the moment. “Establishing a bank in the region benefits everyone, from the people we employ to the jobs created by the property developers we work with. We now have an excellent base, the investment that we need – the next stage is to secure our licence and have the full infrastructure in place ready to launch late 2021.”

Middlesbrough Mayor Andy Preston said: “Middlesbrough’s becoming a much braver and more ambitious town. What we’re going to do is start challenging cities like Newcastle and Leeds for investment and success.

“Having a new bank based in the centre of Middlesbrough is the perfect statement of that new ambition and the first step to success.

Michael Shuker, Square One Law’s Teesside office partner, said: “This is a fantastic news story for Middlesbrough and I am delighted to have acted for GBB in securing the lease on their new headquarters at 2 Centre Square.

The positive impact on the town has already been seen with the first phase of recruitment and I look forward to seeing the development of GB Bank once they receive their banking licence.”

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