News : Invest NI in Clawback Bid as Call Centre Goes
March 25, 2014 -- Invest NI will try to claw back money it gave to help a firm from the Republic set up a call centre in Northern Ireland after it announced the facility's closure.
When Waterford-based Rigney Dolphin opened the centre in Londonderry in 2010 it was offered money if it delivered the 300 jobs it was promising.
The company initially created 30 jobs, but employment peaked at 90 before falling back again to the current figure of 30 – all of whom will be made redundant.
The outsourcing service provider had hoped its call centre in Derry would give it a foothold into the UK market.
A spokesman said the company did not receive the full funding from Invest NI and claimed to have contributed over to the local economy. He confirmed the company had entered into formal consultation with staff.
"Our Derry employees have contributed hugely over the last four years in the company's efforts to grow our client base in Northern Ireland," he said. "However, despite this commitment and hard work, the Derry location has not met business expectations in terms of growth and opportunity. Part of the consultation centres on the staff being offered other jobs within the group."
The statement stands in stark contrast to the words of Celine Fitzgerald (above), Rigney Dolphin's CEO, when the centre was launched in 2010.
"We are very serious about our commitment to Derry and have demonstrated this by an anticipated investment of £4m-£5m, and although we are living in uncertain times, we envisage a long future for us in Derry," she said at the time.
A spokeswoman for the Department of Enterprise and Trade described the company's decision as "regrettable".
"Rigney Dolphin's decision to cease its operation in Londonderry is as a result of increasing competition and difficult market conditions," she said.
"In 2010 Rigney Dolphin approached Invest Northern Ireland for support towards the creation of a business process outsourcing centre in Londonderry with the potential to create 297 jobs. The company created 90 jobs and only received support towards these. Invest NI is currently exploring the potential clawback against the grant paid for these 90 jobs."
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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About Rigney Dolphin:
rigneydolphin group are a Business Process Outsourcer providing a range of Inbound and Outbound Customer Related Services and Back Office Support to clients. They operate as a full-outsourced partner delivering an integrated solution that helps our clients drive efficiencies across their business in terms of top and bottom line performance.
About Invest Northern Ireland:
Invest Northern Ireland assists companies with their European business development needs by facilitating access to the world market though Northern Ireland. The organization provides technology companies with access to a business network, real estate/facilities, human capital and finance.
Published: Tuesday, March 25, 2014