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New call centre to bring 600 jobs to Isle of Wight

John Devlin and Lyle McLean from Ascensos

Up to 600 new jobs are to be created on the Isle of Wight with the opening of a new customer service contact centre.

Staff at the site in Cowes will handle customer queries for the Scottish-based contact centre management specialist Ascensos which manages customer service enquiries for retail companies including Argos; BooHoo; B&Q; Coast; Game; Karen Millen; L.K.Bennett; Monsoon; Oasis; Warehouse; and Wickes.

Ascensos will invest more than £1 million and the Isle of Wight Council agreed to offer a capital investment of £2.1 million as well as a 10 year lease on the site in Cowes - subject to further legal discussions. The local authority has estimated that the business will contribute £35 million to the island's economy. Work to prepare the building will start straight away, and recruitment will also begin so that the business can open by the planned date of September 2017.

“This is a major strategic move for Ascensos, increasing our capacity by 30% and establishing our first UK facility outside Scotland. We’re excited to be coming to the Isle of Wight. The people, the financial assistance and the support in recruitment, training and development made for an unbeatable package.

“Ascensos is growing rapidly and we have become a force to be reckoned with in the UK contact centre sector. We’ve a reputation for doing things differently in this space and we look forward to opening Ascensos Isle of Wight after the summer.”

– John Devlin, CEO of Ascensos

“We’re already in discussions with the DWP and Isle of Wight College and our recruitment campaign will get underway shortly. Ascensos is known as a great employer and we’ll be bringing the same approach to the Isle of Wight.”

– Lyle McLean, Ascensos’ Operations Director , Isle of Wight

“I am very excited that Ascensos has chosen the Isle of Wight as the location for its major UK expansion. The Island is already home to a number of major, global companies and is perfectly positioned to support the ambitions of Ascensos, with a motivated, skilled and enthusiastic local workforce.

"This move also promotes our ambitions of regeneration for the Island, to create a robust and dynamic local economy that will be sustainable now and in the long term for our future generations.”

– Councillor Dave Stewart, Leader, Isle of Wight Council

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Cowes floating bridge due to re-open after bumpy start

Passengers waded to the shore after a power cut Credit: Isle of Wight Radio

It's hoped the Isle of Wight chain ferry will re-open later today after a power cut stranded passengers in the River Medina yesterday.

They were led to safety on Sunday morning after the Floating Bridge became stuck, just a day after it's long-awaited re-opening.

People traveling between East and West Cowes have been forced to make an 11 mile detour after the previous vessel was decommissioned in January

The new ferry was brought in at a cost of £3.5 million but has had a few teething problems, including the angle at which cars travel on and off the deck.

Footage emerged on Saturday of cars scraping as they tried to navigate the slipway.

Credit: Karl Love

Engineers are working on the problems and hope it will re-open this afternoon.

Thousands prepare for action-packed Cowes Week

The event has attracted 8,000 competitors Credit: ITV

Cowes Week gets underway today with an eight-day schedule. There will be 8,000 competitors, watched by 100,000 spectators. The fireworks display will take place, as usual, on the final Friday. Cowes Week is the oldest and largest annual sailing regatta in the world.

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Man left with serious head injuries during Round the Island race practise

The lifeboat was launched yesterday afternoon Credit: Cowes RNLI

A yachtsman has suffered serious head injuries while his team practised for the Round the Island Race in the Solent.

Cowes RNLI Lifeboat was launched yesterday afternoon when the man in his thirties was thrown onto a winch handle by a rope outside Cowes Harbour.

He was unconscious and was taken to hospital with head injuries.

Emergency services at chemical incident in Cowes

Police, fire and ambulance crews are at a property in Cowes this evening, dealing with a chemical incident.

St Mary's Road in Cowes is currently closed

Police have closed part of St Mary's Road in Cowes to allow Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service to manage a hazardous chemical incident.

Police were contacted just after 7pm this evening by Isle of Wight Ambulance Service. Paramedics were treating a man in his 20s at a house in St Mary's Road.

Police remain on scene and are in contact with residents.

Please avoid this area of Cowes.

– A police spokesman

Crews dealing with fire at car factory in East Cowes

Fire crews are currently dealing with a huge fire at a car workshop on the Isle of Wight.

Firefighters are tackling the blaze on Bridge Road in Cowes.

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