SKIPTON financial company Computershare has announced to its staff that it is closing and moving operations over to West Yorkshire.

The company, based at Gateway House, in Gargrave Road, made the announcement yesterday that it was vacating the large site.

Former employee and current assistant general secretary with Aegis the Union, Brian McDaid, said: “Without a doubt, this will be disappointing news for everyone based within the office and will add further uncertainty to some very challenging times for everyone.

"Whilst we understand the business has to make these difficult decisions to maintain its sustainability in the long-term, this will be a very difficult time for all our members, their colleagues, families and the wider community.

"Skipton has been a crucial part of the business for over 30-years, predominately through its time as HML at Providence Place and more recently at Gateway House.

"I moved to the area over 15-years ago to work in the office and like so many other people, it has been a huge part of my life.

"We have commenced formal collective consultation with Computershare to mitigate the impact on our members relocating to the Crossflatts site when it is suitable for people to return back to the office environment and we are encouraged that the business will be looking at more flexible working arrangements to accommodate this."

A Computershare spokesman said: “Like any business, we regularly review our operation footprint to ensure it is fit for purpose. We’ve recently been reviewing our use of two, below-capacity office buildings in Yorkshire. We can now confirm that we have sufficient capacity to accommodate all our staff at our offices in Crossflatts, including all 484 that have been based in Skipton.

"As a result, when we begin to reduce homeworking measures, we do not intend for staff members to return to the office in Skipton.

“While we may be exiting the premises, we’re not exiting the area, and will continue to have significant numbers of employees based locally.

“We will now consult with affected employees and trade union representatives and communicate fully with our staff throughout the process.”

The company added it was currently working with Skipton Building Society to find an alternative occupier for the building which the building society owns.

In January Computershare, which bought HML (Homeloan Management) from Skipton Building Society in 2014 for £47.5 million, announced it had made some redundancies as part of a restructure of its UK mortgage servicing business.

At the time when HML was sold to Computershare it had 1,300 employees across four sites, with 800 working at the Skipton site.

Computershare details a number of locations on its website: Bristol, Crossflatts, Doxford, Dublin, Edinburgh, Halifax, London, Monaghan, and St Helier.

It wasn't clear how many position were lost at Skipton in the January shake-up.

A Computershare spokesman said in January that the business regularly reviews its operational footprint to make sure it is fit for purpose and in July 2019 began a restructure of its UK mortgage servicing business. This led to a reduction in a number of roles in the UK.