Newcastle's first high-tech security vaults have come to the city

Thursday, Jun 22 2017 05:31 PM

A high-tech vault of safe deposit boxes has launched in Newcastle’s after its owners realised banks were no longer letting customers store valuables in their safes.

Newcastle Vaults’ facilities cost £1m to build and are similar to those seen in Hollywood blockbusters such as the James Bond and Ocean’s 11 films.

     L to R: Founders of Merrion Vaults, Seamus Fahy and David Walsh

 

The company is owned by diamond jewellers Seamus Fahy and David Walsh, who originally started their business in Dublin after failing to find anywhere they could store diamonds in the city.

After realising that banks were no longer accepting safety deposit boxes from clients they decided to open their own vault. They now run Merrion Vaults in Dublin, as well as a similar firm in Scotland called Glasgow Vaults.

The £1m high security facility is located on Cathedral Square, and uses a range of state-of-the-art technology to keep its boxes safe. This technology includes seismic shock sensors, 24/7 monitoring, and biometric identification equipment.

Mr Fahy said: “Every customer who comes to us is biometrically identified. So we ID them though the use of facial recognition technology and through their finger prints.”

Newcastle Vaults will allow customers to store valuables such as cash, jewellery, gold or silver bullion, documents or other irreplaceable items in its safes.

Security boxes come in a range of sizes to make sure that all valuables can be stored inside. The firm even offers high security private walk-in vaults for the storage of fine art or valuable furniture.

For customers requiring financial security, the company also offers insurance from Lloyds of London to cover the unlikely event of a break-in. Box holders are automatically receive £10,000 of insurance which can be increased to £500,000.

The company is also offering to sell customers gold bullion in-house so that people do not need to travel to the vaults carrying large amounts of gold. The subsidiary company is called Newcastle Bullion.

Mr Fahy added: “People are worried about the future. When we opened in Dublin we quickly realised that there was a strong demand for gold bullion.

“Now we have told our customers that we will sell it to you and if you want to sell it back to us in two years times, that is not a problem.”

The company currently employs five people in Newcastle but expects to increase its headcount to 10 soon. The new employees will include gold traders who will specifically work for Newcastle Bullion.

Storing valuables at Newcastle Vaults costs between £150 and £950 a year, depending on the size of security box.

Newcastle Vaults will officially open on Thursday at an event attended by the Sheriff and Deputy Lord Mayor of Newcastle David Down.

 

http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/business/business-news/newcastles-first-high-tech-security-13207108