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Some 300 new jobs are to be created in Plymouth following the decision by directory enquiries (DQ) outfit, The Number 118 118, to open up a second centre to handle calls.

The Number - part of the global DQ outfit InfoNXX - was enticed to the area with the help of a grant from the South West Regional Development Agency.

The company has already started recruiting in Plymouth and expects to around 600 within the next year alongside 700 people at its centre in Cardiff.

In a side-swipe at BT, which is creating 2200 DQ jobs in India, The Number's chief exec, Chris Moss, said: "By investing in Plymouth, it means all of our callers are handled from the UK with the best possible service."

The UK's DQ service was opened up to competition in December 2002 giving punters the choice of phoning around ten different operators for help obtaining a phone number.

BT's 192 DQ service will be switched off from August as part of deregulation. Out goes the familiar "192" number, which is replaced instead with new numbers beginning 118. ®

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