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Hundreds of people in Greater Manchester are likely lose their jobs after Aviva announced the closure of three sites in the region.
It comes just a few weeks after Aviva took over Friends Life for £6.5 billion in the insurance industry's biggest ever merger.
The announcement puts at risk 780 workers at Aviva's Stretford, Salford Quays and Manchester Albert square offices.
Workers were told today they will leave the base at Salford Quays by the end of next year. In a statement Aviva said:
“When we announced the acquisition of Friends Life we said that we would inform our people about any changes which impact them as soon as possible. So today we have updated our people about proposals to focus our operations on a number of core locations in the UK.
We have previously said that we expect to deliver approximately £225 million of annual savings by the end of 2017 as a result of the Friends Life acquisition. Savings are expected to come from a number of areas, including simplifying the business and reducing property costs.
As part of our proposals, we have today informed employees that we will exit our Salford Quays office by the end of 2016.
In addition, we have announced that Aviva’s motor claims work carried out in our Stretford and Manchester Albert Square offices will move to Norwich by the end of December 2016.
Aviva will continue to have a trading presence in Manchester and some employees based in Albert Square will move to a new city centre office.
We appreciate this is disappointing and difficult news and we are helping our people through this process, providing a range of support and advice, and consulting with employee representative bodies about these changes.
The changes will happen between now and the end of 2016 and we will look to minimise the impact by offering redeployment opportunities where possible.
Any role reductions which may occur as a result of Aviva’s integration of Friends Life will form part of the potential reduction of 1,500 roles we announced in January 2015.”
Second hand car giant Carcraft - which is based in Rochdale - has closed with the loss of around 550 jobs.
Staff at the head office were reportedly told the news at 10.30am this morning.
The firm was established in the town in 1951 and expanded across the UK.