Lancashire institution marks 160 years of service
In 1860 a new society was created. One which would benefit the community and place the financial interests of Lancastrians at its very heart. As its 160th anniversary draws closer, Marsden Building Society asks people to share memories to mark the milestone
The Marsden Building Society is fast approaching its 160th anniversary, having provided financial services to the people of Lancashire since 1860. And now, the Marsden is asking the county to help it celebrate that milestone.
If any business can claim to be an institution of the North West, it's the Marsden. How many Lancastrians have grown up in homes funded by the Society, or grown their savings with them?
Now recognised as Lancashire’s largest building society, it's proof, certainly, that the Red Rose County was not a bad place to set up a financial services business in the mid-19th century.
It also shows that the Society's mutual business model – owned by its members and run for their benefit - has stood the test of time… But where did it all begin?
On 29 February 1860, a group of local businessmen met at the house of Thomas Holland in Nelson, Lancashire. Conversation turned to the shortage of houses in the neighbourhood and the demand for suitable dwellings for its rapidly increasing population. With that in mind, they decided to build something better for the community.
The idea was simple; members would pay a monthly subscription to pool funds together and finance the building of homes for its members. This would attract more funding, which would enable more building and as a result, membership would grow.
Appointed chairman at the first Board meeting, Daniel Whitaker, along with the Board decided that monthly subscription nights should be held. The subscription of five shillings per share per month was agreed and on the first subscription night 134 1/2 shares were subscribed by members.
It sounds like something from the last century (in fact it's the one before) but the methods worked, and worked and worked. Today, the Marsden is a strong, independent and modern building society, working together with its members to build a better future and leave a lasting impression.
With assets now exceeding £514m and serving over 40,000 members, the Marsden is proud of its heritage and the progress it has made. Throughout its history, the Society has never been involved in any mergers or acquisition, maintaining its mutual status.
Providing savings and mortgages, alongside other services including home insurance and pre-paid funeral plans, the Society continues to attract new members every day. Improving their digital capabilities and widening their product range, they have extended their reach beyond Lancashire and now have members across the country.
With a proud tradition of putting its members first, establishing a reputation for its award-winning customer service, the principle upon which the Marsden was founded, ‘to build something better for the community’ is still very much at the heart of the Society’s operations today.
Some of the methods might have modernised, but the Marsden continues to concentrate on delivering long term value to members through competitive rates and quality service.