Supermarket giant Tesco today pledged to create 1,000 jobs with the opening of a new customer services centre in the North East.
The development at Quorum Business Park, Newcastle, will manage sales and service for Tesco Bank's home and motor insurance customers.
Tesco's banking arm recently announced 800 new jobs at a service centre in Glasgow, as well as an additional 200 posts at its Edinburgh headquarters.
Recruitment for the centre in Newcastle will start early next year with the first 500 roles due to be created by the end of 2010. The remaining jobs will be created within the next five years.
Tesco's decision to locate the facility in Newcastle followed a grant of nearly £2 million from One North East, the regional development agency.
Tesco Bank chief executive Benny Higgins said the region's experience in customer services and the financial sector was also a factor.
He added: "The city is a great fit for our business and as it develops we will be investing even more in the region over the coming years."
Tesco has been quick to pounce amid the banking crisis, relaunching Tesco Bank as it looks to capitalise on rock-bottom consumer confidence in established brands, particularly among loyal Tesco customers.
The group recently bought out former banking partner Royal Bank of Scotland and there has been speculation that Tesco may bid for the good parts of Northern Rock when the Government sells the lender.
The Tesco banking operation has six million customer accounts across 28 financial products and services.
Today's development comes after Tesco took greater control of its insurance operations through a new partnership with Fortis.
Business Secretary Lord Mandelson welcomed the investment in the North East economy.
He added: "It is hugely encouraging that Tesco has chosen to invest here. The range of government support available is ensuring that people and businesses get the help they need to create new jobs across the whole of the country."Reuse content