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Business & Economy

Newcastle attracts investment from international technology firm Xplor

Newcastle has beaten off stiff competition from nine other UK cities as a business location for  an international software and payments firm.

As part of their global expansion plans, Xplor, a leading provider of enterprise software, payments and commerce-enabling solutions for businesses, has selected Newcastle city centre as the location of its new customer service operations.

The new service delivery centre will create over 200 new jobs in the region, with skilled customer service; software development; R&D; multilingual and technical support employment opportunities.

As part of the support received from Invest Newcastle, Xplor has been introduced to the North of Tyne Combined Authority, who has ambitious plans to create 10,000 jobs and boost the local economy by £1.1 billion through its Inward Investment Grant Fund.

Xplor has been successful in securing approximately £965,000 from this fund, that is used to support foreign or UK owned businesses setting up in the region, creating new jobs which otherwise would not exist.

The fintech firm will create over 200 jobs initially in 2021, with plans to expand further in the coming years.

Newcastle competed with other city locations including Glasgow, Manchester, Leeds, Sheffield, Edinburgh, Nottingham, York, Liverpool and Leicester to attract the company.

Early in 2020, just before the government announced a UK-wide lockdown, Xplor visited the region, with Invest Newcastle and Invest North East England showing off the city’s strengths and offering as a place to innovate, collaborate and grow a business.

Xplor offers enterprise software solutions for businesses in five fast-growing ‘everyday life’ industries: Education, Health and Fitness, Boutique Wellness, Field Services and Personal Services as well as a global, cloud-based processing platform that allows clients to seamlessly and securely process payments for their services.

The company already employs more than 2000 colleagues across offices in the UK, Europe, Australasia and North America.

Leader of Newcastle City Council, Councillor Nick Forbes, said: “Newcastle is a city on the global stage. We are now building a strong digital sector, which includes a growing FinTech base, that can compete with other big cities and have the ingredients we need – good transport links, culture, beautiful open spaces, a vibrant night-time economy and a skilled versatile workforce to attract investors.

“Xplor is a global leader, and any ambitious city would have been delighted to be host to their new UK base, but they chose Newcastle which underlines real confidence.

“In the short term Xplor will provide over 200 jobs for residents with the prospect for many more to come which is exactly what we need as we begin to recover from the pandemic.

“I welcome Xplor to the city and want other investors to know we are business friendly and will work hard to help them make their businesses a success in Newcastle.’’

Part of NewcastleGateshead Initiative, Invest Newcastle’s mission is to help businesses locate, expand, and thrive in Newcastle and Gateshead. They champion the city on a national and international stage, working collaboratively to drive forward economic growth.

Jennifer Hartley, director, Invest Newcastle who has been working closely with Xplor, supporting its plans, introducing Xplor to the North of Tyne Inward Investment Fund and wider regional support said: “Working closely with our partners including Invest North East England and the North of Tyne Combined Authority, I had the pleasure of showing off our city and its strengths to Xplor just before lockdown.

“From applying for funding, Xplor being awarded £965,000, to providing introductions to partners, supporting on recruitment and information on the wider business base in the city, all throughout lockdown, this investment is also a collaboration story. It is testament to the support of everyone involved and their commitment to providing opportunities and jobs for our people.

North of Tyne Mayor Jamie Driscoll said: “Jobs are the foundation of our economy. These are good, well paid jobs that will go to the people of our region. And they’re hi-tech exporting jobs, developing software for global use, exporting over the internet.

“It’s fantastic news that Xplor has chosen to create hundreds of jobs here. They could have chosen to go anywhere. It shows that when we work together as a region, we can we be winners. This is what the North of Tyne devolution deal was all about – improving life for our people.”

Camilla Sunner, chief commercial officer for the UK & Europe, Xplor said: “We’re incredibly excited to be building a brand-new customer service delivery centre in the city centre of Newcastle to better serve our health and fitness, and business clients across the UK and Europe.

“As their needs change and grow, we will continue to invest in intelligent solutions, greater automation, and in our talented people, to build a world-class service delivery model capable of meeting their needs now and in the future.”