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  1. ITV Report

Staff 'gutted' as hundreds of job losses feared at call centre in Plymouth

Hundreds of staff at a Plymouth call centre have reportedly been told their jobs are at risk as retail giant John Lewis cuts its operations in the city.

Sitel UK opened at The Ship building in Derriford three years ago. But workers say up to 300 people are set to be made redundant by Christmas.

We can confirm that we are reducing the scale of our operations at the site in Plymouth. This is part of a wider strategy to strengthen the capacity of our in house contact centres in order to further support and service our customers.

– John Lewis spokesman

One staff member told ITV West Country she was 'absolutely gutted' for all her colleagues, adding 'at least we can all say we have made friends for life and can all support each other at this awful time.' Another worker said the news 'hasn’t sunk in yet'.

Charlotte Holloway, Labour's Parliamentary candidate for Plymouth Moor View, said she has been speaking to staff.

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Johnny Mercer MP and former council leader Ian Bowyer welcomed the opening of the call centre in 2016. Credit: Johnny Mercer MP

When Sitel came to Plymouth in September 2016 it was hailed as 'the biggest inward investment deal in over a decade', with Moor View MP Johnny Mercer calling it 'terrific news' and then-council leader Ian Bowyer saying Plymouth was 'open for business'.

The Sitel group has been contacted for a comment.