Managers at Prolog Fulfilment Ltd in Sudbury welcome South Suffolk MP James Cartlidge, as the company announces plans to double its operations in the town and create 100 new jobs.
The future looks bright for one of Sudbury’s biggest employers after it announced plans to double in size – less than a year on from a turbulent period of administration.
Prolog has confirmed it will significantly expand operations at its contact centre in the town, which will result in the creation of 100 additional jobs, to help manage the site’s operations for brands like British Airways, Cancer Research UK and Talk Talk.
The firm says these plans have been brought about to cater for growth in this industry, as well as accommodating an increasing number of businesses that are looking to relocate their offshore operations back to Britain.
It represents a remarkable turnaround for the fortunes of Prolog, formerly known as Promotional Logistics Ltd, which entered into administration in November, following the withdrawal of financial support, initially placing uncertainty on the futures of around 100 staff in Sudbury.
The jobs were eventually saved, when the administration process concluded with the sale of assets to Prolog Fulfilment Ltd, led by former management team Neil Daniells and Nick Hoare, back in January.
A statement from Prolog Fulfilment said this week they expect the Sudbury workforce to continue to expand, in line with future growth.
“As an employer in the town for 35 years, we want to continue to do what we have always done, which is to provide careers and development to people in Sudbury and the surrounding area,” the firm stated.
“We would also like to confirm our intention to double our employment level – from 100 to 200.
“These jobs will all be within a contact centre environment, working on behalf of some global brands.
“Growth in our workforce and recruitment in Sudbury for our existing clients has been ongoing for the last three to six months.
“We expect this to continue in the short term, while also recruiting for further growth in the long term.”
Neil Daniells, director at Prolog Fulfilment, added: “Sudbury is a great place to expand, building on the experienced management and staff already in place.”
The confirmation of 100 new jobs bucks the recent trend of concerns for the future of big business in the Sudbury area, after several high-profile closure announcements from large firms over the last two years.
Unrest has continued over the future of Delphi Diesel Systems, amid fears that many jobs could be lost permanently if the site is redeveloped into homes, after the plant closes down next year.
Meanwhile, there is also uncertainty surrounding the Philips Avent factory in Glemsford, which will similarly shut its doors in 2020, with hundreds of jobs potentially affected.
But the MP for South Suffolk, James Cartlidge, said the expansion of Prolog’s Sudbury office indicates that the area remains an attractive location for large employers to do business.
Mr Cartlidge said: “I am delighted by this strong vote of confidence in the south Suffolk economy from Prolog, and by the fact that another 100 people in our area will have the opportunity to find full-time work with a locally-based but internationally-focused employer.
“When I recently visited Prolog’s Sudbury office, I was particularly struck by just how local their workforce is, and it was clear from speaking to senior management that they see the pool of prospective employees in our area as a big plus of being based here.
“There may be a tendency for doom and gloom at the moment, but the reality is that south Suffolk is an attractive place to live and work and, with record low unemployment, we can be justifiably positive about the future.
“I wish Prolog well with their expansion plans and can assure them that I will continue to do everything I can to ensure that this constituency remains a great place to run a business.”
The announcement has also been welcomed by the Sudbury Chamber of Commerce, which described the news as “a psychological boost” for the town, as well as a vote of confidence in the economy.
Sudbury Chamber of Commerce president John McMillan told the Free Press: “It was a very nice surprise. I was delighted.
“We know that Prolog wants to stay in Sudbury because of the quality of the local workforce.
“I’m really pleased that they have found a way to keep working here.This is especially true in the light of the job losses we’re suffering at the moment.
“It’s something the Chamber of Commerce is working on and we are talking to Babergh District Council, because we think a lot of work needs to be done to attract more businesses to the town.
“We will need a lot of jobs created in Sudbury over the next 20 to 30 years, because of all the expansion from housing developments, never mind just to replace the jobs lost from Delphi and Philips Avent. It’s estimated we will need 2,000 to 3,000 new jobs in that time.
“There has been some work towards this, but we are very worried that not enough is being done.”
Published by the Suffolk Free Press