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Commitment to Community - Valley Credit Union opens new homey-but-high-tech Bridgetown branch office

The new Valley Credit Union branch office in Bridgetown was officially opened on Jan. 24 with the local staff cutting the ribbon. At left is Valley Credit Union president and CEO Len Ells.
The new Valley Credit Union branch office in Bridgetown was officially opened on Jan. 24 with the local staff cutting the ribbon. At left is Valley Credit Union president and CEO Len Ells. - Lawrence Powell

'It's very exciting for the entire community'

BRIDGETOWN, NS - When they cut the ribbon to officially open the new Valley Credit Union branch in Bridgetown Jan. 24, it signified a commitment to community and a fresh new approach to banking.

Valley Credit Union president and CEO Len Ells was at the ceremony, along with credit union employees and a whole bunch of members who seemed delighted with the new location beside the post office and the warm, homey feel – complete with fireplace and two big leather chairs.

Ells remembered a meeting a few years back amid uncertainty about the future. Just before the ribbon was cut he spoke about what came out of that meeting.

“The board in its great wisdom decided to do all we can as a credit union to remain in the communities we were in,” he said. “At that point in time two of branches were sustaining the rest of our business. Over the three or four years since then the board has supported Valley Credit Union and our employees and has invested several hundred thousand dollars in additional training to bring capability and knowledge levels up. We implemented a wealth offer. We’ve taken a very different approach in engaging with members, having discussions, meeting needs, and not pushing product.”

It worked.

“That approach really has seen much benefit from a financial perspective,” he said. “Your Credit Union is strong. In the last three years we’ve seen well above average growth and we thank you guys all for your part in that and we encourage you to share the news more and grow the membership.”

Empower Members

In a media release coinciding with the opening, Valley Credit Union said it wants to empower their members with options to choose how and when they access financial services.

“The new branch offers traditional service as well as self-serve options for those who like the convenience of online banking but with the option of speaking face-to-face with a professional financial advisor,” it said.

“We are proud to be a part of the Bridgetown community and excited to offer our members a refreshing experience when visiting our branch,” said Ells. “We offer banking that goes further, through honest advice and competitive financial services, while supporting the community in real and meaningful ways.”

The new branch office is open-concept in design and boasts a technology bar with tablets, ATM machine, free-standing teller pods, and windowed offices – and even a kitchen.

“It’s more of a relationship-based approach,” said Ells, “and hopefully you will (continue) see that materialize and transpire.”


“When you see a company like this that has a proven track record as a community partner, prospering, and working on their image, and developing premises like this it’s very exciting for the entire community,” said Annapolis County Warden Timothy Habinski at the opening. “Communities are never static. If you do nothing they will almost always spiral down. You’ll watch things degrade and things fall apart. That can be reversed. A community can spiral up but that never happens by magic. It doesn’t happen by itself. It happens when companies are innovative. It happens when volunteer groups are thriving. It happens when projects are planned with the community and you watch everything change – and you become better and better. And that’s what’s been happening here. You’ve got a company that’s been pushing to improve things in a community where exciting things are happening. Bridgetown is spiralling up right now. That’s something we should all be proud of. This is a wonderful night. Congratulations.”

About Valley Credit Union

As a full-service financial institution, Valley Credit Union serves more than 11,000 members through its seven branches located in the Annapolis Valley and Western Shore region of Nova Scotia. They offer a full range of lending, deposit, investment, and credit card products in addition to online and mobile banking services. The new Bridgetown branch is located at 256 Granville Street.

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