Aldous welcomes construction of new Essex and Suffolk Water Customer Centre in Lowestoft

Waveney MP Peter Aldous this week welcomed the start of the construction of Essex and Suffolk Water’s new, purpose-built Customer Centre at the Riverside complex in Lowestoft.

Essex and Suffolk Water has started the construction of a new, purpose-built Customer Centre at the Riverside complex in Lowestoft. The company is investing nearly £4 million in Lowestoft to construct the new office following the grant of planning permission from Waveney District Council.

Local building contractor RG Carter commenced work this week on the new office, located off Canning Road, which is scheduled to be complete in June 2014. The water company, which is part of Northumbrian Water Limited, is a familiar presence in the town having successfully operated its customer centre in Lowestoft since the early 1990s.

The new office will replace the company’s existing customer centre in Rectory Road, Lowestoft, which is no longer big enough, or suitable, for a modern busy office environment. Nearly two hundred of the water supplier’s customer team will move into the building when it is operational next year. Plans for future expansion could see up to an additional 70 jobs created over the next five years.

Peter Aldous MP said:
“This significant investment by Essex & Suffolk water is welcome news for Lowestoft. It is a major endorsement for both the town and the dedicated staff who work for the company and provides the opportunity for creating an additional 70 jobs in the next few years.”

Ian Donald, Customer Services Director for Northumbrian Water Limited said:
“Our customer centre in Lowestoft is a key part of our operations – receiving hundreds of thousands of customer contacts each year. A purpose-built customer centre will help us work more efficiently and enable us to deliver first-class customer service. This project brings important additional investment and employment to the Lowestoft area. The new office is a really positive development for the local area, our customers and our employees and I’m looking forward to seeing it in operation next year.”

Grant Keys, Director and General Manager for RG Carter Limited, said:
“We are delighted to be involved in this exciting project. The investment by Essex & Suffolk Water in the new customer centre is great news for Lowestoft and our appointment as main contractor is great news for our locally based workforce and local supply chain.”

Philip Bodie, Partner at Feilden+Mawson, architects of the new office, said:
“We set out to design as flexible space as possible building on our thirteen years of experience on innovation centres. The building is steel frame with concrete floors and clad in render, glass and brick. The main office is rectangular and is separated from the ‘pavilion’ on the other side by a glass entrance atrium. The pavilion provides greater overall flexibility – it’s where the toilets, meeting rooms, large conference rooms and training facilities are located. It has been a pleasure to work for Northumbrian Water Limited. They have been a superb client to work with and we hope to build on this relationship in the future. We now look forward to making this project a reality on site and to working with RG Carter during the construction phase.”

Mark Hopwood, Project Manager for Essex & Suffolk Water, said:
“Essex & Suffolk Water has had a presence in Lowestoft for many years and this proposal will retain a large number of jobs close to the centre of town with scope to expand. A new office will significantly improve facilities and the working environment for our employees.”

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