An insurance firm is doubling its workforce after expanding its North East base as well as its offering to customers.
Collingwood Insurance Services (UK) Ltd has created 100 new jobs to add to the existing 100-strong workforce at its contact centre in North Shields, to help meet demands for a new product.
The £8m turnover business is known in the industry for its existing learner driver insurance, called Woop, but earlier this month it introduced newly qualified motor insurance, a product it expects to add a further £1m to sales in the first year.
Twenty of the new positions have been filled with the creation of a new in-house training department and the expansion of its HR department to manage the recruitment drive.
The insurance intermediary, which first set up in North Shields in 2001, has been experiencing rapid growth, promoting the company to reinforce its commitment to the borough by purchasing its existing premises on Earl Grey Way, as well as the building next door to accommodate its future growth plans.
David Thomas, finance director at Collingwood Insurance, said: “Following a successful launch of our new product this is an exciting time for Collingwood as we continue to grow and we are delighted to offer new opportunities in the region.
“We believe it’s extremely important to keep the jobs here in the North East because we have a great workforce here, and it also reverses the trend of recent years which has seen a high concentration of specialist services setting up hubs elsewhere, such as Leeds.
“The newly-qualified motor insurance is a brand new product we are taking from a standing start. In future years it will, I’m sure, deliver bigger turnover but we are being cautious in the first year and think it will add around £1m to our turnover.”
Sean Collier, senior manager for business and enterprise at North Tyneside Council, who assisted Collingwood Insurance Services with its expansion plans, added: “The contact centre sector is incredibly important to North Tyneside and the wider region as a whole.
“We continue to provide assistance to Collingwood Insurance through our aftercare programme and it is great news for the industry and the North East that they have decided to expand here.
“The support we’ve provided will help the company to prepare for future success.”