Garlands folds: 1000 call-centre jobs axed in Northeast

Change of accent for Voda, TalkTalk, Virgin helpdesks

Garlands Call Centres has gone into administration with the likely loss of 1,000 jobs in the north east.

The firm, which worked with Vodafone, TalkTalk and Virgin Media among others, promised better staff development than many call centres are infamous for. It had centres in Hartlepool Marina, Middlesborough and South Shields with plans to open another centre in South Africa.

Chief Executive Chey Garland told staff over the PA system yesterday afternoon that their jobs had gone and they had an hour to leave the building, according to the BBC. She said she was "devastated" by what had happened. At one point Garlands had almost 3,000 staff. She said the firm had taken 30 years to grow, and 18 months of recession to kill.

Staff said the news had come out of the blue.

PriceWaterhouseCoopers is handling the administration. It blamed the loss of major contracts for the failure. It said Garlands had one contract left and would keep about 70 staff to maintain that service and help shut the business.

PWC said: "The Garlands' board were unable to identify a viable way forward given the significant deterioration in contract work and high infrastructure costs."

The company turned over £44m for the financial year ended October 2008. ®

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