COUNCIL chiefs yesterday held talks with bosses from Shop Direct after the firm last week announced it was closing its Burnley call centre, with the loss of 420 jobs.

Chief executive Steve Rumbelow and council leader Gordon Birtwistle travelled to the firm’s headquarters in Liverpool for the meeting.

However, despite being told Shop Direct would help the laid-off workers find new jobs, Mr Rumbelow said he was “disappointed” that the company had not made contact with the council earlier.

He said: “They told us that they had taken a business decision, based on the fact that more people shop online and the Burnley centre was expensive to run.

“However, it would have been nice if they had come to us before they made the announcement.

“There could have been a different discussion, although not necessarily a different decision.”

Shop Direct has said it will work with Jobcentre Plus and others to help find those workers jobs.

A 90-day consulation with staff at the Kingsway centre has now begun.