BRIERLEY Hill has been snubbed by a major building society which has pulled out of a move to Merry Hill.

The West Bromwich Building Society was due to relocate its headquarters and 500 staff to the former six-storey offices at Point North on the Waterfront prevoiusly occupied by credit card company Egg.

However in a shock U-turn this week, the society announced it was pulling out of the deal and going to stay in its home town.

Jonathan Westhoff, chief executive of West Bromwich Building Society, said: “When we announced that Point North was the preferred option, back in September, we were conscious that the decision was finely balanced and, as such, there was no room for the outline terms to vary.

"Quite recently, and despite the best efforts of the teams on both sides, it became clear that the terms had moved too materially to maintain the advantages of Point North.”

The finance company's lack of interest in Merry Hill has been described as disappointing by the borough's political leaders including Dudley South MP Chris Kelly, who had previously hailed the announcement of the arrival of the society as fantastic.

Dudley Council’s cabinet member for regeneration, Cllr Shaukat Ali, said: “We are naturally disappointed with the decision, however this will not hamper our efforts in attracting other investors to the borough. We are continuing with the regeneration of our borough and will do everything possible within our powers to try and make sure we get businesses to Point North.

“Clearly the decision taken by West Brom was a commercial decision, but it would have been really good to have had it relocated here. On the flipside I am pleased it is staying in the Black Country.