Archive News

Optical giant to expand in the city


Optical chain Specsavers is to set up its UK service centre in Nottingham.

The Guernsey-based company, the largest privately owned optical group in the world, has agreed to take a 34,000 sq ft office at the NG2 business park, off Queen's Drive, and move 70 jobs from its existing Wilford offices.

And more jobs will be created as the company consolidates its UK operations in Nottingham.

The offices could accommodate up to 300 people. Initially, additional finance staff will be based at NG2.

Specsavers was founded by optometrists Doug and Dame Mary Perkins in their spare bedroom in Guernsey in 1984 and has grown into a group with 1,000 stores in nine countries.

The company said it chose Nottingham in a competitive bid with four other cities - Seville, Bratislava, Birmingham and Manchester. Nottingham had a more suitable infrastructure, said Specsavers.

The new offices, to open within six months, will support Specsavers aggressive expansion plans.

Nottingham is already home to the UK operation of Vision Express and to Boots Opticians, making it a centre of excellence in the optical industry.

Specsavers finance director, Karen Dicks, said: "Specsavers has made no secret of its plans for growth. We hope to increase our business to 2,000 stores during the next three years and additional support services in Nottingham will be instrumental in this.

"Specsavers already had a large presence in Nottingham, established ten years ago, and has now grown to 70 people.

"We had outgrown our current accommodation in Wilford and our plans are to consolidate these areas of the business into the new premises."

Marketing director Richard Holmes said the Nottingham operation would also house teams developing new products plus a service centre dealing with customers.

The new offices will employ 160 within about two years, he added.

He praised the city council for its help.

The Perkins continue to run the company with their family today from a 90,000 sq. ft. office in Guernsey. It has a large factory in Kidderminster.

Nottingham City Council today said the decision demonstrated the city's competitiveness as a place to do business.

Simon Green, director of sustainable development, said: "It is the enduring appeal of Nottingham, and skilled negotiations, that have brought Specsavers to the city.

"This investment will mean new jobs for Nottingham and the council will be working with Specsavers to ensure opportunities and benefits for local people are maximised."

Coun Brian Parbutt called today's announcement "a real tonic for Nottingham" after recent job losses at Capital One.

By Richard Tressidder, Business Editor

Evening Post - Business Post



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