The UK’s most cost competitive location for FPBS business and talent
Our winning combination of a highly skilled, cost competitive workforce, plentiful Grade A office accommodation and a strong and growing cluster make our region one of Europe’s best investment locations.
Why Financial, Professional and Business Services (FPBS) firms choose to invest in North East England
Well-established FPBS cluster of 17,500 companies, including Santander, Convergys, KPMG, P&G and HP
More than 130,000 people employed in our FPBS sector with over 30,000 people studying FPBS subjects at our universities and colleges
Key strengths in customer contact centres and legal, financial and insurance services with more than 145 contact centres employing 40,000 people for global companies including, amongst others, Barclays, EE, EDF Energy, Santander and Virgin. These CCC’s support a range of sectors as direct, third party and shared service centres.
UK’s most cost competitive location for business and talent – savings of over £9m per year for a 350-person customer contact centre operation compared to London (Financial Times Benchmarking Study)
Huge cost savings compared to other parts of the UK from the region’s Grade A offices aimed at FPBS companies
Unbeatable location for investors from across the globe
North East England has an unrivalled investment offer for FPBS companies.
Over 17,000 firms have already taken advantage of our highly skilled workforce, low cost base, top quality office space, growing cluster strength, academic collaboration and extensive financial support.
The number of FPBS companies grew in our region by nearly 33% between 2011 and 2015 (source: Office for National Statistics).
North East England has particular strengths in business process outsourcing, back and middle offices, financial, tax and advisory services, financial technology, legal services and contact centres.
Banking giants Barclays, Santander and Tesco Bank all operate hugely successful contact centre operations in our region, as does mobile phone network provider EE.
They are just four of the 145 contact centres employing over 40,000 people for global companies based in our region.
North East England is one of the most cost competitive locations in Europe to hire FPBS staff; yet the education, training and staff care are exceptional, and the quality and standard of living remains one of the highest in the UK. This work/life balance results in unparalleled staff loyalty to the company and to the region.
Nick Wilson, MD of HP sums it up:
“The main reason we come to the North East is to access the skills and work ethic…”
The typical cost saving is 14% compared to London for a customer services representative and 2 to 3% compared to Scotland and Cardiff.
Our burgeoning financial services sector contributes just over £2bn to the regional economy and employs more than 28,000 people, while the North East is recognised by industry experts as one of the top start-up clusters in the UK, outside of London, in financial technology.
Staff work in bespoke Grade A office accommodation at numerous specialist properties in our city centres and business parks across the North East aimed at FPBS companies.
These include Cobalt Park – the largest office park in the UK – offering huge cost savings compared to other parts of the country – while some of our other sites offer Enterprise Zone benefits for investors.
All have superb infrastructure links to the main A1 and A19 roads as well as to Newcastle International Airport.
Many sites are linked to the Tyne and Wear Metro, the largest rapid transit system outside London, helping ensure that skilled workers have easy access to their workplaces. This contributes to the region having the second lowest commute times in the UK.
Investors are able to draw on a highly skilled, motivated talent pool for their workforce.
The North East has some of the lowest worker attrition rates in the UK. This provides companies with the confidence to recruit, train and retain their most valuable asset – their workforce.
Our five universities and 15 further education colleges have 290 courses specifically aimed at the FPBS sector.
Legal services in the North East continue to go from strength to strength, employing around 13,000 people and worth £700m annually to our regional economy.
There is an extensive business support network across North East England providing access to information, advice, and finance all geared to enabling company growth.
“The North East of England was selected by Balfour Beatty as it provided a skilled and flexible workforce and the best supply of buildings in the UK, suitable for the new facility.
We are thrilled with the team we have been able to build here. Their efforts have delivered significant benefits for Balfour Beatty.
Savings achieved in the first year following our move exceeded £15m and headcount has grown beyond initial estimates to around 450 as new Shared Services have been added.”
Business Services Director at Balfour Beatty
Construction giant Balfour Beatty relocated from London choosing Quorum Business Park in North Tyneside as the base for a new customer support centre called WorkSmart.
Within a year of opening, it reported a cost saving for the business of £15m.
Now processing 80% of the group’s UK business through transactional and advisory services, the office at Quorum has unified payroll, accounting and supply chain management, improving efficiency and making substantial cost savings for Balfour Beatty.
Six reasons why...
“Spectrum Business Park and County Durham as a whole offered us the quality of premises we needed for this key expansion of our business, with access to a high quality workforce which was critical in our decision-making process.
We are delighted to be expanding our operations into North East England. Our growth means that County Durham will benefit economically as we create hundreds of jobs in Seaham over the next three years.
Our growth is being driven by our customers who are growing with us and also the re-shoring of contracts which are currently being undertaken overseas with new customers in the digital, energy, retail and insurance sectors.”
Fast-growing customer contact firm ResQ, between 2016 and 2019, will create 1,200 jobs in one of North East England’s largest ever inward investments.
ResQ’s contact centre at Spectrum Business Park in Seaham will service new and existing customer growth, new business wins and jobs being reshored to the UK.
The Hull-based firm scoured the North East of England for a new business centre to expand its business into, choosing our region after working closely with our partner business support organisations.