New £4m Essex & Suffolk Water customer centre officially opened in Lowestoft
- Credit: Nick Butcher
A new £4m customer centre for Essex & Suffolk has been officially opened in Lowestoft today.
Heidi Mottram, chief executive of Essex & Suffolk Water and parent group Northumbrian Water, performed a ribbon-cutting ceremony to open the new centre at Canning Road, which is the base for 190 employees previously located the company's old offices in Rectory Road, Lowestoft.
Ms Mottram said: 'This is an important moment for Essex & Suffolk Water in the town of Lowestoft as it shows we're committed to providing investment and employment in the local economy for many years to come.
'This smart new building is somewhere our employees can be proud to work and continue delivering their excellent customer service on a daily basis.'
The water company has had a customer centre in Lowestoft since the early 1990s.
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The new building features roof-mounted solar panels and sensors which automatically turn off lights when there is no movement to reduce energy consumption and automatic shut-offs for taps and toilets to conserve water.
Wall insulation and window glass has been specified to minimise heat loss in winter or heat build-up in summer and outside a 'bug hotel' has been installed to help protect invertebrate wildlife.
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Ian Donald, customer services director for Northumbrian Water Group, said: 'It is an exceptional building, designed and built by local people, for local people serving communities not only in Essex and Suffolk but also in the North East of England'
'This super new facility matches the skills of our people and will enable us to maintain and improve our high levels of customer service.'
Essex & Suffolk Water provide services in the Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth areas.
The company's move to the Riverside complex, means it is the 18th business to locate to the Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft (New Anglia) Enterprise Zone since it opened in 2012.
Ten buildings are currently under construction within the zone with a further ten already complete, meaning that it is on target to meet 1,500 jobs and £20 million of private investment by May 2015.
Chris Starkie, managing director of New Anglia LEP, said: 'We are delighted to welcome another prestigious name to the Enterprise Zone.
Since it opened in 2012 the zone has created more than 570 jobs and attracted more than £16m of private sector funding. This investment from Essex & Suffolk Water reinforces its status as a key area for innovation and growth for businesses who are committed to locating and developing their businesses in Suffolk and Norfolk.'
The centre has been constructed by regional contractor R G Carter.
Grant Keys, director and general manager for R G Carter, said: 'The quality of design and construction is there for all to see and we are proud to have been part of the team that has delivered it for the benefit of staff, customers and the people of Lowestoft for generations to come.'
It was designed by architects Feilden+Mawson
Philip Bodie, partner at Feilden+Mawson, said: 'It is always a special moment when you see people working and interacting in a built environment one had a part in shaping.'