Travel firms moves into iconic Barrow building
Published at 13:25, Tuesday, 24 April 2012
BARROW has received a major jobs boost after a travel firm opened for business in an iconic town centre building.
Barrhead Travel has taken on the top floor and part of the ground floor of Emlyn Hughes House.
About 40 people, many of whom faced redundancy with Barrow-based Cumbria Cruise Centre, have been taken on by the Glasgow-based firm,
About 25 of those started on induction yesterday and were undergoing systems training today ahead of the phones going live next week at what is Barrhead’s first English base.
Company chairman Bill Munro said: “It is our intention to expand here.
“We have got enough room, and an option on the ground floor, to accommodate 70 or 80 people.
“It depends on the take-up of the business.
“We are offering tailor-made holidays, long haul holidays, cruises, and hopefully there is the business for us to go into the corporate market as well.”
And Mr Munro hinted that Barrhead Travel may even switch its company head office south of the border if Scotland votes for independence.
He said: “If that happens in Scotland we might look to move our head office south of the border.
“A lot of people in Scotland are thinking about it (independence) with emotion and with a Braveheart approach rather than taking a reality check on what it would really mean.
“It would not make business sense.”
The 37-year-old family-run business, employs 550 people in 34 offices across Scotland and also has a travel agency and small call centre in Belfast.
Speaking about the offices in Emlyn Hughes House, Mr Munro said he was very impressed.
He said: “It’s very nice. It’s bright, it’s modern.
“We are very happy to be here.
“There is a shortagegenerally of experienced travel consultants and the fact there were 40 down here who were available seemed too good to be true.”
Managing director Jacqueline Dobson earlier said that Barrhead Travel had been looking at potential sites in England since August 2011.
Emlyn Hughes House was built in late 2007, and its only tenants had been the Crown Prosecution Service, who moved in during December 2008.
Chief executive of Barrow Borough Council Tom Campbell said the council were delighted to welcome the new tenants.
He said: “They are taking the top floor and part of the ground floor and we are hoping that they take more in the long run.
“We are delighted and have been speaking to them about it for a while.
“They have been looking to come to Barrow and looked at a few properties.
“Barrhead moving in just leaves part of the ground floor available, so we are looking to get a final tenant in there.
“But we are hoping that once they get settled then they might well take the rest of the building.”
Furness Enterprise helped to attract the company to Barrow and said they were sold on the benefits of moving to the area to set up business.
Published by http://www.nwemail.co.uk
Have your say
Apathy,towards Barrow,from second generation scots and irish who have no pride in the town that provides them with a living,never mind daltonians.
It seems to me that the Council is on a no win situation with this property.If it remains empty, or not to the "now" preferred options some suggest, they are on a loser.Now it is coming into use, it is being described as a white elephant....another loser.Money from Europe was available to assist with the construction; better some of it came to Barrow.Delighted to see this modern building coming into use, which has also helped retain a great many essential jobs. I see nothing wrong with progress when it provides the base for employment and will generate income for the Borough.
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