Union Insurance calls up job creation in Wakefield
A business that offers insurance protection to trade union members is set to create more than 100 jobs after investing £1.4m to launch its first operation outside London.
With support from the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership’s Business Growth Programme, which is supported by the government’s Regional Growth Fund, Union Insurance has created a new call centre at Wakefield 41 Business Park.
Union Insurance has acquired the 14,000 sq ft building and refurbished the building to suit its requirements.
The organisation, which offers policies to members of leading trade unions including Unison, Unite, Usdaw and the GMB, has already recruited around 20 staff from the local area and is recruiting further.
Managing Director Dan Harrison said: “We have been established in London since 2000 and have built up a successful call centre employing around 125 staff. We provide working people and their families with access to greater financial security through insurance policies that protect against the financial impact of major life traumas.
“However, it’s difficult to grow our business any further in the capital because of escalating costs, so we wanted a base somewhere else to complement it.”
Union Insurance considered several locations across the UK for its second base but the Leeds City Region had been a clear winner, Mr Harrison said.
“The £100,000 grant from the Business Growth Programme has enabled our business to really forge ahead with our plans to acquire a site in Wakefield.
“Additionally, we have received some great support and advice on this journey from the team at the LEP and also Wakefield Council which has been invaluable. We’re really excited about the opportunities this move has given our business and our people and are looking to create more than 100 jobs.”
Roger Marsh, Chair of the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership, added: “It’s always really pleasing to see organisations look outside the capital to invest and plan for their futures so we’re obviously delighted to support Union Insurance and help to create jobs in the City Region. Union Insurance is a growing company and we have every confidence that this investment will see the business expand in Wakefield.”
“Following our Local Growth Deal announcement, we are delighted that a further £18m is added to the Business Growth Programme fund to help support businesses like Union Insurance invest in the City Region and ensure we cement our position as an economic powerhouse in the north.”
Union Insurance also offers union members a Prepaid Plus card as well as a Rewards card giving cashback on purchases. A strong commitment to the training and development of its staff is an integral part of the business’s ethos, and Union Insurance has been recognised by Investors in People status for the last 12 years.
“We’re creating jobs for local people here in Wakefield and the surrounding area and we’re rightly proud of that,” added Mr Harrison, who said Union Insurance would be holding a number of employee open days at the call centre on South Park Way in the coming months.
“We’re committed to career development and creating a fun and vibrant workplace. We’ve already seen people join us who have been out of work for some period of time and it’s fantastic to see them prospering and learning new skills.”
Cllr Denise Jeffery, Deputy Leader of Wakefield Council, said: “We have been delighted to support another new business to open up in Wakefield. Our district is ideally placed for companies wanting to expand outside of the capital but maintain access to great transport links around the country. “I’m sure Union Insurance will be a fantastic asset to the district, creating a wide variety of jobs and joining a growing number of big names which see Wakefield as a great place from which to operate.”