Call centre Rigney Dolphin is to close its Derry operations with the loss of 30 jobs, it has been confirmed.
The North’s Enterprise Minister Arlen Foster today confirmed the closure of the Patrick Street call centre in response to an Assembly Question from Sinn Fein MLA Maeve McLaughlin.
“Rigney Dolphin has confirmed that it intends to close its operations in Londonderry with all 30 of the current workforce to be made redundant over the next couple of months,” the Minister Foster said.
“The job losses are deeply regrettable and are as a result of a commercial decision taken by the company in light of difficult trading conditions and increasing competition in the Business Process Outsourcing market.
“The promoters do not believe, from a commercial perspective, that they can sustain the site in Londonderry any longer.”
She said a range of agencies including InvestNI, the Department of Employment and Learning, Council, Chamber of Commerce and the local Enterprise Agency, will work “to assist those staff affected by the closure.”
Sinn Fein’s Maeve McLaughlin said the closure is a “body blow to the workers and their families.”
“These job losses are a body to the workers and their families. We need to ensure that the workers receive their full redundancy entitlements and I will be working closely with Invest NI and others to ensure that staff get the maximum support.”
SDLP MLA Colum Eastwood said the job losses are “yet another huge blow to the city”
“This news will come as a devastating blow to the workers at Rigney Dolphin and their families. It is important that all relevant agencies are engaged to ensure the workers affected are made fully aware of all of their rights and entitlements at what is no doubt a time of great anxiety and uncertainty for them.
“It is also another huge blow for Derry’s economy which continues to feel the bite of decades of neglect in terms of investment in infrastructure and job creation,” he said.
In December 2010, Northern Ireland Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster announced that Rigney Dolphin was to establish a new customer service centre in Derry, creating 297 jobs.
Invest NI offered £1.2million of support towards the investment which it said would generate over £4million annually through the creation of 297 jobs over the next three years.
Rigney Dolphin, headquartered in Waterford, is a leading outsource service provider, currently employing more than 1,200 people who deliver customer relationship management services and back office support, including payroll and HR functions.
Mr Eastwood continued: “The news that a company which has benefited from Invest NI funding is to cease operations in Derry after such a short period of time is concerning. The enterprise minister announced in 2010 that Rigney Dolphin would create 297 jobs over three years in Derry with the support of £1.2m from Invest NI, yet in 2014 the company is announcing that it is to close its operation in the city with the loss of 30 jobs.
“This situation raises questions once again over how many jobs announced or promoted by department for Enterprise Trade and Investment and Invest NI are actually being created on the ground. It also confirms the need for more focussed investment in creating jobs which are sustainable,” he said.