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Thursday, 31 July 2014

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Call centre plans to be running in three weeks

A MULTI-MILLION pound travel firm hopes to have its new Barrow call centre up and running within the next two to three weeks.

Glasgow-based agency, Barrhead Travel, plans to open in the town as part of its expansion plans south of the border.

The company’s managing director, Jacqueline Dobson, said she could not yet reveal where the Barrow call centre, the firm’s first English base, will be.

But, Mrs Dobson added, the aim is for it to open in time to exploit the market for summer holiday bookings.

She said: “We want to get in there as soon as possible.

“We’re really excited about coming down.

“The people are really friendly, fantastic people, and we’re really looking forward to being there.”

Mrs Dobson said Barrhead Travel had been looking at potential sites in England since August 2011.

Barrow was chosen partly because 55 workers at Cumbria Cruise Centre were facing redundancy, meaning highly skilled and experienced staff were set to become available. But Barrhead Travel has come under criticism from some of the centre’s staff who thought they would get work there.

A company statement on a travel website had stated all Cumbria Cruise staff would be offered a job.

One angry Cumbria Cruise Centre worker, who asked not to be named, contacted the Evening Mail after being told she would not be getting a job in the new call centre.

She said: “When that was released on the website, everybody thought ‘We must be alright’.

“But then I got a phonecall saying I was unsuccessful, and I know others have too.”

Responding, Mrs Dobson said: “We had always looked to offer as many people as possible jobs.

“That’s not to say that, three to six months down the line when we know what business is like, we won’t take these people on.

“We’ve said to all of them, ‘We’ll keep your name on file’, because we want to expand in Barrow.”

Between 40 and 50 jobs will be created by the new call centre.

Barrhead’s further expansion into Barrow in the next six months will include exploring the corporate travel market.

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