Office move but no jobs losses

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ONE of York’s biggest employers has announced the sell-off of one of its bases - but will not be making redundancies locally.

Insurer Aviva said it was looking to leave Yorkshire House the 1960s office block which it has occupied in the city centre for the past 20 years.

Staff will move into Wellington Row, which it already occupies, and to a bigger site than Yorkshire House at out-of-town Monks Cross.

The firm, which announced earlier this year that it was looking to axe around 1,500 jobs following its £5.6bn acquisition of rival Friends Life, said yesterday it was closing offices in Salisbury, Stretford and Salford. It will have a reduced presence in Dorking, Exeter and Manchester.

Both York, where 2,000 people are employed, and Sheffield, where another 1,300 work for the company, are considered “core locations” alongside Bristol, Norwich and Perth, it said.

In a statement the company said: “We have previously said that we expect to deliver approximately £225 million of annual savings by the end of 2017 as a result of the Friends Life acquisition.

“Savings are expected to come from a number of areas, including simplifying the business and reducing property costs. As part of our proposals we have informed employees that we have identified an opportunity for the sale of Yorkshire House, which could mean the exit of this building by the end of 2015. Should an acceptable deal be achieved, we would look to move people into Wellington Row and Monks Cross.”