Blow for city’s economy as IBM chooses Leicester over Portsmouth

IBM's UK headquarters at North Harbour in Portsmouth
IBM's UK headquarters at North Harbour in Portsmouth
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CITY leaders have spoken of their disappointment after IBM chose not to locate the UK’s first service centre in Portsmouth.

The US technology company, which has its UK headquarters at North Harbour in Portsmouth, has chosen Leicester for one of its service centres.

The move will create 300 jobs over three years.

Leicester will be the home of IBM’s fourth European services centre, with the others in France, Germany and the Netherlands.

The centre will employ graduates with technology skills.

Councillor Luke Stubbs, in charge of economy at Portsmouth City Council, said: ‘Of course it’s disappointing that they chose Leicester over Portsmouth or another Hampshire location.

‘However as a private company they can make whatever decisions they like and they did not seek to discuss this with the council before making this move.’

A team from Leicester City Council worked closely with IBM last year to persuade the company of the city’s suitability.

David Stokes, IBM’s UK chief executive, said: ‘This investment in job creation aims to inspire the next generation workforce from local technical colleges and universities who will deliver the technology skills needed to drive business innovation in the UK.’