Garlands to Create 800 Seat Contact Centre in South Shields

Call centre company Garlands has announced a major business expansion, with the creation of a new contact centre in South Shields, South Tyneside in North East England.

The centre will comprise two new office buildings totalling 47000 sq. ft. within a two acre site. Construction of the new eight hundred seat centre will be carried out by Mandale Commercial Ltd. and work will start immediately. The centre is expected to open in February 2008. Over a thousand people could eventually work at the site.

The centre is at an attractive waterfront location on Market Dock North on the southern bank of the River Tyne. It will be designed to compliment the historic warehousing buildings along the Tyne, and will have an ‘excellent’ BREEAM rating and high quality landscaping. The centre will be fully equipped to the same high standards as Garlands’ existing centres in Hartlepool Marina, Middlesbrough and Stockton, including state-of-the-art voice and data technologies, advanced training facilities, and café and rest areas serving hot and cold food. Music from Radio Ga Ga, Garlands’ in-house radio station will be played at the new centre.

“This is great news for Garlands as we enter a new phase in our expansion plans” said Chey Garland, Chief Executive of Garlands Call Centres. “We very carefully considered a number of locations and opted for South Shields because of the quality of the local workforce, the fantastic location, and our commitment to grow within the local area. South Shields is only 35 minutes drive from our headquarters on Hartlepool Marina. The assistance we have received from South Tyneside Council and One NorthEast has been tremendous.”

“We very much look forward to opening our doors next February” she adds “when we will be offering local people the opportunity to work – and develop their careers – with one or more of the blue chip UK companies who partner with Garlands.”

The development is an important element of South Tyneside Council’s regeneration programme, which is being supported by One North East, the regional development agency.

The Contact Centre industry in the region employs more than 53,000 people, which equates to almost 5% of the working population. This dynamic sector is forecast to grow by some 14% between 2005 and 2008. One of the fastest growing segments of the market is outsourced service provision and Garlands is one of the biggest providers of such services in the North East.

In addition to working in partnership with Garlands to develop the site, South Tyneside Council will also be upgrading local infrastructure to provide easy pedestrian access from the new Garlands’ centre to the local Metro station and new taxi rank pull-in facilities. Contractors, Garlands and the Council will be working with local ward members and residents to minimise disruption during construction and operation.

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