Telecoms giant BT is planning to close 270 offices under a consolidation plan it says is the biggest programme of its type in the UK.
The company said 300 offices will be reduced to around 30 by 2023, adding that no jobs will be lost.
BT people will be housed in inspiring offices that are better for our business and better for our customersPhilip Jansen, BT
BT announced that its key locations in the future will be in Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Ipswich, London and Manchester.
Group chief executive Philip Jansen said: “Revealing these eight locations is just the first step. We have dedicated teams working on identifying the best buildings to move into and which ones to redesign for the future.
“As a result of this programme, BT people will be housed in inspiring offices that are better for our business and better for our customers.”
Around 52,000 people are currently employed across the 300 locations.
BT said the 30 centres will be modern buildings, including corporate offices, contact centres and specialist sites, adding it is the largest programme of its type in the UK.
Noel McClean, national officer of the Prospect union, said: “While the union is committed to working with BT to establish offices that are fit for the 21st century, what is left unsaid in today’s announcement is what will happen to the current estate.”
“Indeed, moving from an estate of over 300 locations to around 30 by 2023 poses a huge logistical challenge for all concerned.
“For example, closing each existing building will require a period of consultation and considerable support for affected staff, from both the company and the union.”
Andy Kerr, deputy general secretary of the Communication Workers Union, said: “The commitment to invest in the fabric of BT’s offices and contact centres is welcomed, however the CWU are concerned that a move from 300 to 30 locations over the next three to five years is a huge logistical challenge.
“The CWU are in discussions with the company and, during this process, our major focus will be on our members’ job security and we have made it clear to BT that we will not accept any compulsory redundancies.”