THREE hundred jobs are to be created after BT announced that it is to open a new call centre in Accrington.

The new call centre will be based at the Globe Centre, in St James Square.

It comes after US-based outsourcing company Sitel, which handles online holiday bookings for Expedia, announced six months ago it was moving to Bangalore in India from the Globe Centre, making 250 people redundant.

The BT call centre is due to open in the autumn and the application process for the new jobs will be started shortly.

Tony Chanmugam, BT’s chief finance officer, said the dedicated workforce in the town was one of the main reasons for the relocation.

He said: “BT is delighted to be bringing more jobs to Lancashire.

“We have a great relationship with the local authority, which is helping us set up a new contact centre in an area where we wanted to be with committed people who have the right skills to help our customers.”

Geoff Driver, leader of Lancashire County Council, said: "We're obviously delighted that BT has recognised what Lancashire has to offer to businesses.

"We've helped it find suitable accommodation, but ultimately BT wants to come to Lancashire because of the skills and expertise we already have here.

"This builds on the county council's long-term partnership with BT.

"These jobs will help to boost the county's economy and create some excellent new opportunities for local people."

Miles Parkinson, leader of Hyndburn Borough Council, also welcomed the news.

He said: "This announcement is great news for the whole of Hyndburn.

“It's particularly pleasing that BT have recognised what the skills and commitment of the local workforce will bring to their business. “We look forward to working with them."

Edwin Booth, chairman of Lancashire Enterprise Partnership, said: “A major global brand choosing to invest in Lancashire sends out very positive messages.”