Move over Mumbai. Sheerness high street is set to have its own call centre bringing 17 new jobs to the Island.
The vacant site of a former amusement arcade, T’s Leisure, has been taken over by Digital Satellite Services.
The business has been running since 2001 and four years ago opened shop across the road from where the new office will be.
Things have expanded quickly over the last year and part of the company now includes a team who make cold calls to sell maintenance and repair agreements for home entertainment systems to customers.
It all started 18 months ago when siblings Nick and Debbie Freeman, who run Digital Satellite Services, were approached by Ria Crawford.
The 31-year-old, who now works as the sales manager, had recently relocated to High Street, Sheerness, from Bournemouth and put forward the idea.
She said: “It has just grown and grown. Obviously call centres have got a bad name but we try not to see it that way.
“We are a family run group and our main aim is to keep jobs on the Island.”
There are seven people working on the phones in a small office above the shop where aerials, satellite dishes, set top boxes and televisions are sold.
They are expected to relocate in the next week or so.
In the field, a team of engineers carry out installations and service work across London and the South East.
Altogether the firm has 6,000 customers which reach as far north as Scotland.
Miss Crawford, who previously worked as a sales adviser and trainer, acknowledged a call centre is not what people would expect to see on a high street but explained the retail arena is rapidly changing.
She said: “It is quite a mix on the high street and we are hoping it could provide a boost to the Island, especially for young people.”
The new site will provide opportunities for apprenticeships and training including NVQs.
It will receive referrals from employment agencies like Sheerness Job Centre and Avanta as well as The Island Partnership.