Havant SSE site will not be empty long, says councillor

LOSING one of the biggest employers in Havant is not the end of the world, a leading politician has said.

Tuesday, 8th March 2016, 4:36 pm
Updated Tuesday, 8th March 2016, 4:41 pm

In a major shake-up, hundreds of jobs could be moved away from energy firm SSE’s Penner Road site, to Reading.

The News revealed earlier today that up to 600 members of staff would be affected, although SSE would not confirm numbers.

But IT coding specialists, IT developers, administrative staff, finance and HR workers, along with procurement specialists, are due to move.

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The 1,000 call centre staff will remain, according to an insider.

But Councillor David Guest, who is in charge of economic development at Havant Borough Council, said even if SSE did leave completely, the site would not be empty long.

‘We’re realistic’ he said. ‘The world changes and I see people going as regrettable.

‘We don’t want that, but it could be an opportunity.

‘There is demand on the south coast and I’m sure that space will be taken over pretty quickly if they do leave.’

The insider told The News most people would be unable to move as they have families and have established their lives here.

He added SSE bosses had said one of the reasons for moving was due to a skills shortage in the area.

The News understands a consultation process will run until next February and that the Basingstoke office is also due to move.

A spokesman for SSE said the lease at Langstone Technology Park is not up for renewal until next year and no discussions have taken place with the landlord.

He added: ‘We remain committed to the Havant area and are continuing to invest in our operations there.’

Staff from Havant, Reading, Thatcham and Basingstoke will be moving to a base at Forbury Place, Reading, a spokesman said.