Scottish site for BSkyB's new centre

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The Independent Online
(First Edition)

BRITISH Sky Broadcasting, the satellite broadcaster, has chosen Dunfermline, Fife, for the site of its second subscriber management centre.

The company, half owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation, said the pounds 10m centre would create more than 1,000 full and part-time jobs in telephone selling, marketing and computing by the end of the decade.

The news that the centre was to be built in Scotland - at Carnegie Campus, owned by Fife Enterprise, the government jobs and training agency - was welcomed by Ian Lang, the Scottish Secretary.

It had been thought that BSkyB would choose Ireland for the second centre because of tax and other concessions, but in the end it opted to be close to its existing centre in Livingston, which also employs more than 1,000 people.

BSkyB said the centre would process applications by first-time users and provide resources for new schemes such as pay-per-view.

Mr Murdoch is known to be interested in the possibilities offered by digital transmission, which would give access to more than 100 channels and open the door to video on demand. Such a move would require a considerable support system as well as heavy investment.

The first phase of the centre should be ready for occupation in autumn next year.