DAVID Miliband hopes a fast-growing South Tyneside business will be a “massive” jobs boost for the borough.
Energy efficiency firm Utilitywise is making 200 new jobs available this year, after it moved into the former Garlands building in Market Dock, South Shields, back in January.
The South Shields MP paid a visit to meet staff, and officially open the company’s new headquarters.
He said: “It is great for South Shields that there are 250 people working here already, and there are so many more jobs on the way.
“This is a company which is expanding, and it is great to think that there is a sustained business which works on a national scale, based here and employing local people.”
Utilitywise relocated to South Shields after outgrowing its former base at Albert Dock, Jarrow. It helps businesses to manage their electricity, water and gas to save energy.
Mr Miliband believes the move to the former Garlands building will be a major boost for the borough, which remains an unemployment blackspot.
He also said it would complement other developments, including the new BT Business Centre, which opened at Harton Staithes, South Shields, in October last year, and employs more than 600 people.
He added: “I hope it will be a massive boost for local jobs.
“Utilitywise is saving money for businesses on their energy bills, and improving the environment by helping firms reduce their carbon emissions.
“We have already seen jobs created at the BT Business Centre, and there will be long-term benefits for people in South Tyneside.”
Adam Thompson, Utilitywise managing director, revealed that the company has already taken on about 30 people since its recruitment plans were announced in the Gazette in February.
He said: “We have ambitious expansion plans for 2012 and it’s great to have the support of our local MP.
“It’s rewarding to be able to create decent jobs for people in South Tyneside.”
The company has grown rapidly since it was founded in 2006. It employs about 250 people, and provides services for businesses across the UK.
Mr Thompson added: “There is such a lot of demand for our services. Energy spend is something that needs to be managed.”
The arrival of Utilitywise has found a new use for the former Garlands call centre, which stood empty for more than 18 months when it closed in May 2010.