More than 110 Norwich jobs saved as Adrian Flux steps in at Swinton Insurance call centre
- Credit: Nick Butcher
The jobs of more than 110 Norwich workers have been saved after a rival insurance company stepped in at a call centre which had been due to close.
Norfolk insurance broker Adrian Flux is to take over the lease on the Rosary Road centre currently run by Swinton Insurance and has offered jobs to all 146 employees, with 117 having already accepted.
Adrian Flux general manager Paul Twite said the move ended the King's Lynn-based company's lengthy search for a new office, adding that it had plans to recruit for up to 100 new positions in 2018.
'This is a great opportunity to not only give the staff at Rosary Road another chance in insurance but also to grow our business in a vibrant city,' he said.
'This is a win-win-win: the staff are getting a redundancy [package] and then, if they want, start with us the next day; we are getting an office in Norwich with staff with insurance experience; and Swinton Insurance have looked after their staff and helped us through the process.'
The call centre had been expected to close in September, five months after Swinton announced it was concentrating on its Manchester contact centre, in response to more customers buying insurance online and over the phone. Some 84 high-street branches were also under review, though none in Norfolk and Suffolk will close.
This newspaper first reported in June that talks were under way with an unnamed third party which could secure the future of the Rosary Road jobs.
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The number of jobs being retained by Adrian Flux could rise from 117, as staff have until September 1 to make a decision on the new jobs.
The two insurance companies will share the office from August 1, as staff are being made redundant from Swinton in two phases, at the end of July and September. They have been offered the same salary and all staff will receive redundancy packages regardless of taking a new job, a Swinton spokesman confirmed.
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Mr Twite said a 10-year lease had been agreed on the building, and that a refurbishment would start at the end of the year.
'We feel there's a lot of life left in the call centre,' he added.
The news was welcomed by ward councillor Lesley Grahame. She said: 'I'm delighted these people will keep their jobs. Keeping the jobs in the area supports the local economy.
'Money circulates and if people are working locally they are going to be spending money locally.'