Ovo Energy to close Selkirk office and cut 2,600 jobs across UK

More than 2,000 employees of energy supplier SSE are set to lose their jobs as new owner Ovo announced redundancies across its business.

Ovo will ask its staff to apply for voluntary redundancy as it tries to shed2,600 roles after the coronavirus crisis forced it to speed up integrationplans, it said on Tuesday.

Around 8 in 10 of these will be among the workers who came to Ovo as part of its £500 million deal to buy SSE's retail arm.

The energy company has an office in Selkirk, in the Scottish Borders, which they intent to close, a well as two other offices in Glasgow and Reading.

380 staff currently work from the Selkirk offices, but it remains unclear how many of these will be lost completely.

Chief Executive of Ovo Energy Stephen Fitzpatrick. Credit: PA

"There is never an easy time to announce redundancies and this is aparticularly difficult decision to take. But like all businesses, we face a newreality and need to adapt quickly to enable us to better-serve our customers and invest in a zero carbon future," said chief executive Stephen Fitzpatrick.

Ovo will also close two offices, in Glasgow and Reading, that it acquired aspart of the SSE deal and a third, in Selkirk, that joined Ovo when it rescuedSpark Energy in 2018.

The staff at these sites will be moved to new offices or be allowed to workfrom home.

Credit: PA

John Lamont, MP for Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk, commented on the job losses: “This is devastating news. This is an already anxious time for many people so this news will be particularly difficult for those affected.

"Ovo are a big employer in the Borders and this news will add further challenges for our local economy at a time when we are already dealing with the impact of coronavirus.

“We will have to wait and see how many jobs could be at risk. In the meantime, I hope that the usual help from Scottish Borders Council and the Scottish Government will be available to the employees that need support and I have contacted them to ensure this will happen.

“I hope that as many jobs as possible will be retained. I will continue to be in discussions with Ovo over the coming days to ensure that employees in Selkirk receive all the information and help they need.

“However, anybody who is worried about their job and is looking for advice, should contact me and I will do my best to assist.”