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'Hundreds of years of experience discarded by BT' in Alness claim as proposal to close call centre threatens scores of jobs

By Hector MacKenzie

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Ardroy House.
Ardroy House.

A TELECOMS giant proposing to close an Alness call centre told shocked staff over a teleconference, it is understood.

Highland MSP Rhoda Grant earlier slammed what she called the "lazy, cash-saving" approach by BT over its plans for the town.

It's understood that up to 100 employees could be affected at Ardroy House and Culgraggie House.

A BT spokesperson said: “BT is going through a period of immense change and investment for the future, and as part of the Better Workplace programme we’re reviewing our buildings across the UK against our long-term requirements.

“In Alness, we’re proposing to close our local site and we’ve started to consult with impacted colleagues in detail over what this could mean for them and the options available. There will be no impact to customers.

“We remain committed to Scotland as a long term location for the business. We are focused on our major Scottish offices including the multi-million pound refurbishments of our Glasgow and Dundee offices as well as our significant investments in both Edinburgh and Thurso.”

The Ross-shire Journal has been told BT Group announced the proposed closure of the BT Alness call centre to over 100 full-time and agency staff yesterday via teleconference "to shocked employees".

A source said: "BT stated that the move is in line with their future ambitions to modernise its infrastructure and allow them to invest in technology. BT have thrown long-serving loyal employees to the wall with a shocking move in the short-term to save a few quid.

"BT added that the buildings were not fit for long-term occupation, however failed completely to address the question of the majority of employees working from home anyway and the building having been given a refresh just two years ago and labelled as a 'key site'. The knowledge and expertise discarded by BT is shocking. It amounts to hundreds of years of knowledge and experience built up over 22 years in Alness. BT has lost its commitment to the east Highland population."

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