Up to 700 jobs could be created in Plymouth following a major global trade deal with Sitel, one of the world leaders in outsourced customer experience innovation, showing Plymouth is ‘open for business’ post Brexit.
The multi-million-pound deal, which has taken over a year to secure, will see the international business locate its new workforce in Derriford in The Ship, which was acquired by West Country based property developers, Burrington Estates, in May 2015.
The contract was signed last week and it is hoped that Sitel will be on site by February 2017. Burrington Estates is a major developer investing in the City and has already successfully completed two major regeneration projects, including Ocean Crescent and Burrington Business Park.
Secretary of State, Liam Fox, said: “This is terrific news for Plymouth and a mark of confidence in the United Kingdom post our decision to leave the European Union.
“Our country remains an incredibly attractive place to invest and it is now our time to seize the opportunities presented to us for trade outside the European Union, and hopefully places like Plymouth can continue to prosper.
“To be very clear, this is no insignificant investment. This is a 10-year agreement which will help bring up to 700 jobs to the city in what is a major global trade deal. Plymouth is a budding base of quality businesses with a bright future and a local MP in Johnny Mercer who is willing to listen to businesses and bring their concerns to government. I think it is imperative to see MPs working more like this to support businesses and the local economy.
“I look forward to visiting both the Ship and some of the amazing businesses that I’ve heard about from Johnny in the near future. In my new role as Trade Secretary, it is great to see companies talking about phenomenal growth in regions like the South West and this government is now focussed on ensuring that it continues.”
The deal has been supported by Johnny Mercer MP and Baroness Neville-Rolfe, Minister of State at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, as well as Plymouth City Council.
Johnny Mercer, Member of Parliament for Plymouth View, said:
“This is terrific news on so many levels. To see that kind of investment in Plymouth, that amount of new job creation and to see The Ship returned to its former glory is simply fantastic.
“I think this is a pretty significant point and now as a city we need to keep moving on and securing this type of large investment to keep driving our economy forward. I do believe that congratulations are in order to both Burrington Estates and Sitel on the conclusion of this deal. It was a pleasure to meet Karl all those months ago and I am pleased that Baroness Neville-Rolfe and I were able to help in some small way.
“There have been no sizeable changes in the UK regardless of Brexit vote, and in my opinion, Plymouth remains an ever more attractive place to invest and grow your business.”
Karl Brough, General Manager for Sitel UK & Ireland, commented: “After another year of phenomenal growth in the region, we are proud to be able to announce the launch of our new site in Plymouth and are delighted to bring many new employment opportunities to the area in the future. The Ship is a unique and exciting facility and we look forward to building a truly great place to work for our team that is supportive of our commitment to People First. By leveraging our existing experience of delivering outstanding customer experiences for major global clients from our other South-West site in Exeter, we are confident that our newest location in Plymouth will be a great success and a quality location for our client partners.”
Mark Edworthy, co-founder of Burrington Estates, said: “When we bought The Ship we renamed it ‘The Spirit of Enterprise’ as it was always our intention to return this iconic building to its former glory as a bustling and thriving place to do business. Confirmation of the ten-year deal with Sitel is fantastic news for the region and we are proud to have been able to help facilitate such huge inward investment in the City.
“The combined workforce of Sitel and the 15 or so businesses taking office space in our Thrive Hub means this building will once again be a place full of energy with approximately 800 people working here. There is still some space available so businesses wishing to be part of this exciting project need to act quickly.”
Leader of Plymouth City Council Councillor Ian Bowyer said: “This is fantastic news for the City, the region, and the country, and shows that, post the Brexit vote, we are still well and truly open for business and ready to trade with the rest of the world.
“Hundreds of jobs will be coming to Plymouth, which is great for families living in and around the City and a huge boost to the local economy. This sends out the message that we are keen to welcome new companies – particularly global brands – as well as nurture existing ones.
“We know that Sitel is a progressive market-leading outsourcing company which will not only provide valuable career opportunities for our citizens, particularly helping young people get into the job market. It is also great to see a very distinctive landmark building in our City get a new lease of life.”
Sitel currently has 146 sites serving 70 countries with seven of these in the UK, employing circa 75,100 associates.
The Council has played a supporting role to help Burrington Estates bring the company to Plymouth. It has helped with land and property negotiations, transport planning, exploring energy efficiency schemes and is involved with ongoing discussions around recruitment.
As well as offering extensive office space at the front of the building, The Spirit of Enterprise is adding an exciting, new dedicated leisure space. Clip’n’Climb is already confirmed and Adrenalin- a business providing indoor trampoline and state-of-the-art obstacle courses – will also be making this iconic building its new home.
Paul Scantlebury, co-founder of Burrington Estates, said: “Clip’n’Climb and Adrenalin are two really fun leisure brands and we are confident they will help make The Spirit of Enterprise a go-to destination, hopefully giving people even more reason to visit Plymouth.”
“This was a massive team effort between all stakeholders with regular, detailed meetings for over a year. Special thanks to Plymouth City Council and to our finance partners, Prydis and commercial agents, JLL.” Paul adds.