Jobs face axe as household name quits town
Burnley was dealt a jobs blow this week with the announcement that one of the town's best known firms is to close.
Around 77 people could lose their jobs when Endsleigh Insurance Brokers, a former sponsor of Burnley FC, closes down its branch.
The news was given to staff at the company on Tuesday and former MP and Leader of the Liberal Democrats in Burnley, Coun. Gordon Birtwistle described the announcement as " bad news" for the town.
He said: "Job losses in Burnley is a blow for the town and there are a lot of younger people who work there
"This company has a long association with the town and it is sad to see that end."
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A spokesman for Endsleigh said the jobs affected are in the claims operation department and did not affect the entire workforce at Burnley as there were staff who deal with third party claims who are not at risk.
But the spokesman also added that this part of the business was under review and the company was working closely with a claims service provider which will mean staff will be transferred under a TUPE arrangement around April. These are regulations set down to preserve employees' terms and conditions when a business, or part of one, is transferred to a new employer.
The spokesman said: "Last year we announced a strategic review of our business and a transformation programme to ensure we're in the best shape to grow and meet the evolving needs of our customers.
"As part of this process we’ve analysed the sustainability of our claims operation.
"Given a number of environmental factors, such as the systems required, the level of appetite from insurers and our relative lack of scale, we’ve made the difficult decision to close our claims operation.
" As a result, we will be vacating our Burnley office and have placed 77 people who are based there at risk of redundancy.
"We will transfer our sales, service, quality assurance and insight functions to Cheltenham so that we can continue to deliver for our customers.
"We’ve communicated this news to our employees and are working hard to support those affected through this uncertain and difficult time."
Endsleigh has operated from the top floor of Kingsway House in Burnley, the former home of Great Universal Stores, also known as GUS, since 2016.
The company moved from Ashworth House , a landmark building in the town centre where it had been based for 25 years.
The building was sold and converted into 57 apartments.
The firm's head office is based in Cheltenham and specialises in the student, education, graduate and sport markets.
Endsleigh is currently the only official and approved insurer of The National Union of Students and is owned in full by Zurich Insurance which also runs its UK operations from Cheltenham.
Conceived by the former Nottingham University student Michael Jeremy Naylor, Endsleigh was founded by the National Union of Students (NUS) in 1965 to provide tailored insurance services to university and college students
In 1976 the NUS sold 100% of the company to Gouda Insurance International, as it was felt a stronger financial base was needed to fully exploit market opportunities. The NUS retained two seats on the board and in 1982 bought back a 14% shareholding.
In July 1995, Naylor, was killed in a car crash in Southern France at the age of 59.
From 1993 to 1996, Endsleigh sponsored the English Football League and from 1988 to 1999 Endsleigh was the main shirt sponsor for Burnley F.C. with its logo appearing on the players' shirts,
In April 2002, a management buyout, led by the Managing Director, Mike Alcock, bought out Gouda and formed a partnership with Zurich Financial Services.