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Tiscali UK is closing its office near Chester in a bid to reduce "escalating property overheads and increase corporate efficiency".

The centre in Northwich - which handles Tiscali UK's B2B customer service, product development and finance departments - is due to be closed by the middle of August.

Tiscali UK insists that all 50 staff are being offered jobs elsewhere in the company either in nearby Chelford, or further afield in Milton Keynes or London.

According to insiders, as many as 30 people aren't prepared to relocate their homes south.

They believe they are effectively being made redundant - an accusation strongly denied by Tiscali UK.

A spokeswoman for the ISP told The Register that it wants these staff to stay and will replace them if they decide not to relocate.

However, there is a deep sense of anger and frustration at the way Tiscali UK has handled the move with insiders claiming they've been betrayed.

Quentin Birchall, the MD of the B2B division of Tiscali UK, has also resigned and could leave the company as early as next week.

The exact circumstances surrounding his departure are not known, although Tiscali UK claims it has nothing to do with the performance of the B2B division. No successor has been named.

Earlier this week Tiscali responded angrily to a newspaper report in which it was described as "cash-strapped". The article also suggested that Tiscali could be bought by a rival ISP within the year. ®

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