Northern Powerhouse Minister James Wharton MP officially opened Vertu House on the Fifth Avenue Business Park, Team Valley.
Vertu Motors PLC, the fourth largest company in the North East, has invested £2million in a new Central Support Centre in Gateshead.
The sixth largest car dealership Group in the UK, Vertu Motors has created around 300 jobs in Central Support services in the last four years – these people are located at the new site. The services includes a large customer contact centre, together with other Group support provision.
The new Central Support Centre represents a purchase and refurbishment investment of £2million, with a total floor space of 2145m2. It includes a large contact centre, board and meeting rooms, canteen to cater for more than 80 covers, electric vehicle charging points and a 21st century working environment with state-of-the-art audio visual equipment and an environmentally friendly heating and air conditioning system.
Throughout the UK, Vertu Motors PLC employs more than 4700 people at 121 sales and Aftersales outlets. The Group deals with a wide range of vehicle brands including Nissan, Volkswagen, Vauxhall, Ford and luxury brands that include Land Rover, Jaguar and Audi.
Speaking at the event James Wharton MP said: “It’s not easy to secure a turnover of over two billion pounds a year, to have more than 120 dealerships under your umbrella. It is an incredible achievement, and it is an achievement that is being delivered from here in the North East of England.
“The investments that Vertu Motors brings, the jobs that it creates, this speaks to real people, those peoples’ jobs, those peoples’ livelihoods, those opportunities for people who want to go into the range of opportunities that are afforded by a business such as Vertu Motors.”
Robert Forrester, chief executive of Vertu Motors PLC, said: “This major investment in the North East underlines the Group’s commitment to the region and its positive impact on employment and the economy.
“In November 2006 the business operated from a small office in Newcastle and has grown to become a major success story for the North East, with turnover now exceeding well over £2billion. We are proud of our heritage and delighted to have opened our new Central Support Centre in Gateshead.
“James Wharton was a welcome guest at our official opening and, as a key North East business, we are pleased to be making a positive contribution to the ‘Northern Powerhouse’.”
Local Growth and Northern Powerhouse Minister James Wharton added: “The North East’s thriving automotive industry is a key part of creating a Northern Powerhouse and has enormous potential to bring further growth to the local economy.
“The Government is determined to rebalance the economy and investment like this will help generate further opportunities in this industry”