Job cuts at former South Shields firm Utilitywise

Utilitywise's former South Shields base
Utilitywise's former South Shields base

A former South Tyneside firm which moved across the river Tyne in order to expand has announced it is cutting jobs.

Utilitywise, which employed more than 400 people in its base at the former Garlands call centre in Long Row, Market Dock, South Shields, announced in 2014 that it was looking at two potential new sites in the North East as part of its ambitious growth plans.

The firm subsequently swapped South Shields for the Cobalt Business Park near North Shields - with a large number of South Tyneside staff making the move.

Now it has announced it is to axe 100 posts across its centres in North Tyneside, Portsmouth and Redditch.

The company says many of those affected will be redeployed into new roles, but has confirmed that there will be a limited number of redundancies.

"Utilitywise is in the process of creating new roles across the Group as it implements its strategy to focus on activities where it sees opportunities for the highest growth as well as improving the operational efficiency of the business," said a company statement.

"This means adding more customer facing roles, particularly as Utilitywise focuses on growing its SME business (or Enterprise Division).

"However, as part of the process, a number of current roles will no longer be needed and Utilitywise has today entered into formal consultation with affected employees.

"Where possible, impacted staff will be redeployed into the new roles being created. Over the next 12 months, Utilitywise expects its overall employee number to increase from nearly 1,500 staff based across the UK, as the Group seeks to grow the business."

A company spokesman added: "We expect less than 50 people to actually leave the business as a result of these changes, while at the same time we expect our total overall headcount to grow over the course of the financial year.”