WORKERS at a major employer in South Shields say they fear their jobs could be moved out of the borough.
Utilitywise, the fast-growing energy and water cost management consultancy which employs more than 400 people in South Shields, is understood to be looking for larger premises
Staff fear this could mean the firm moving out of its South Tyneside base, the former Garlands call centre in Long Row, Market Dock, South Shields.
A spokesman for the firm, which moved into the building in January 2012, refused to comment on the matter.
No denial of a prospective move was forthcoming, the spokesman merely saying: “This is speculation and we cannot comment on it.”
A move to a bigger building outside South Tyneside would a bitter blow to the local economy.
Staff say the potential move is a talking point at the firm.
One worker, who did not want to be named, said: “I’ve heard that we could be moving later this year from here to bigger premises.
“Silverlink in North Tyneside has been mentioned as an option. There’s been nothing official.”
Coun John Anglin, councillor for Beacon and Bents, the ward in which the company is located, said: “If this is true, of course it would be a huge loss.
“If they are moving out I am sure it is not a decision they would be taking lightly and they would have looked in South Tyneside for a bigger place already.
“South Tyneside is really doing as much as it can for businesses already here and doing all it can to attract more.
“It would be a heavy loss.
“I hope that they are expanding but I really hope that expansion takes place in South Tyneside.”
Utilitywise, formed in 2006, is one of the UK’s leading energy and water cost management consultancies.
It helps businesses get the most value from their energy and water contracts, reduce their energy and water consumption, and lower their carbon footprint.
Since it was founded the company has expanded rapidly and has re-located several times.
Utilitywise operates chiefly from its South Shields building but also has offices in Redditch, Bury St Edmunds, and Portsmouth.