Universal World Events to close West Yorkshire base

Universal World Events is planning on closing its West Yorkshire office and is inviting around 90% of the 75 staff to relocate to its Ashby de la Zouch HQ.

Mark Saxby, Universal World Events’ sales and marketing director, told C&IT that "everyone in a key position has the opportunity to relocate or to work remotely", adding that around six support-services roles are "at risk of redundancy".
 
The group, which was formed from the merger of Universal Procon and World Events after United Drug acquired the latter in November 2010, has invested £6.5m in an extension of its Ashby premises, a project due for completion in the new year.
 
The proposal to close the Cleckheaton, West Yorkshire office has been driven partly to cut costs by unifying systems at one location, and partly to better service clients, all of which bar one are based south of Ashby.
 
The company plans to consult staff over the next four weeks, with the result of the process expected at the end of October. Employees who decide to relocate will be given until June 2012 to do so.
 
Denise Abbott, the firm’s UK country director, added: "Some staff have already relocated to Ashby and others have asked to relocate. If this proposal goes ahead and any key staff can’t relocate, we’ll offer remote working in order to retain these individuals.
 
"Our first objective will be to maintain a seamless service for our clients as we make the change. Our mantra is very much ‘business as usual’."

Timeline

November 2007 United Drug acquires Harrogate-based agency Procon

 4 April 2008 United Drug acquires Universal CIT for £10.9m

18 August 2008 United Drug merges Universal CIT and Procon to form Universal Procon

30 September 2009 Universal Procon announces proposals for restructure

4 November 2009 C&IT reveals Universal Procon may close Slough base as part of restucture

20 November 2009 Universal Procon confirms five redundancies in UK and relocation of staff to Ashby de la Zouch

2 December 2010 United Drug acquires World Events for £13.5m

1 February 2011 United Drug announces plan to merge Universal and World Events

2 March 2011 Universal World Events unveils new management line up

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