he British Gas offices and training centre off Armley Gyratory are set to close.
The large complex on Canal Street, where hundreds of staff are based, will be closed down with staff redeployed to the company’s British Gas site in Holbeck, a shock announcement confirmed this afternoon.
Centrica – which runs British Gas and Scottish Gas – confirmed the closure had been announced to staff at the west Leeds site today but added that no job losses had been announced ‘in relation to that site.
However, a staff member at the Canal Street site – who wished to remain anonymous – told LeedsLive that only certain roles would be available in Holbeck.
She alleged: “There is only certain positions available in New Bridge House. Not everyone from Canal Street will be taken over.
“That is all we really know for now though. The management are keeping it very hush hush.”
Centrica is also consolidating its two Glasgow sites with the loss of 400 jobs – a total of 500 jobs will be lost across the UK, a spokeswoman confirmed.
She told LeedsLive: “We’re consolidating our Leeds based sites into one location and our New Bridge House site is situated close by.”
Last year the company announced plans to axe 4,000 jobs – just over half of them in the UK.
The 500 announced today are part of the 4,000 planned.
Armley councillor Alice Smart said: “This is the first we’ve heard about it – the Armley councillors and Rachel Reeves. We’re really concerned about potential job losses.
“There are hundreds of jobs there and there’s a lot of local people that rely on them.”
She also confirmed that Leeds City Council and GMB will be speaking to Centrica and looking for job protection guarantees.
In a statement, Centrica said it had proposed ‘a number of changes across the UK’ to staff, including ‘role reductions to reduce management layers, role reduction to reduce back office functions to improve efficiency’.
She said: “This difficult decision was made because we need to respond to the growing challenges we face. Our customers want more from us. Competition is fierce and we’re operating under a price cap.”
Justin Bowden, GMB National Secretary, said: “GMB is confident that the vast majority of staff affected by these closures can be redeployed within British Gas and we will do everything in our power to ensure that every GMB member who wants to stay with the company has a job.”