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Ventura to build pounds 15m centre on pit site

PLANS for 1,750 new jobs in the heart of a former mining community were unveiled yesterday. Customer service organisation Ventura, a member of Next Group, the retailer, will build a pounds 15m centre on the site of the former Manvers Main Colliery, near Rotherham, South Yorkshire. The new expansion will see the Leeds-based company increase its workforce from 2,400 to more than 4,000. The new positions are mainly for customer service advisers to handle the 60 million customer telephone calls and 30 million items of correspondence which Ventura manages each year.

The site is due to be finished by November and temporary premises at nearby Silkstone House are being used while building work is carried out. The Dearne Valley area of South Yorkshire, where the new site is to be built, suffered dramatically from pit closures in the 1980s and 1990s, and has an unemployment rate of 9.9 per cent per cent - nearly double the national average. Ventura said it hoped to fill most of the 1,750 vacancies with local people.

The company, which has recorded a 42 per cent growth per year for the last seven years, manages millions of customer accounts on behalf of clients such as Cellnet, BT, Co-Operative Bank and Kingfisher. Steve Fairbank, Ventura chief executive, said: "The new site is a major commitment to the expansion of Ventura's successful business. The new jobs created in the Dearne Valley will be a massive boost to the local economy."