Insurer announces it will close local office

AXAs Lytham office om Ballam Road
AXAs Lytham office om Ballam Road

Lytham must continue to attract new businesses to the area, a traders’ leader said after it was announced that a major employer is to close.

The majority of the 355 jobs at AXA Lytham office, on a site at Ballam Road it shares with other businesses including Aegon and Inenco, are likely to be transferred to Bolton.

AXA has a proud and historical association with Lytham and this decision has been taken only after a thorough review and full consultation with employees

Denize Ashton, chairman of the Lytham Business Partnership, said: “It’s very very sad news, and my sincere commiserations to the people who may lose their jobs.

“It will have an obvious impact on business in the town but Lytham is nothing if not resilient as we have weathered many storms over the last decade.

“We have to keep striving to attract new businesses to the area, locals to shop and use ‘local’, and to encourage visitors to keep coming back.”

Following a three-month consultation period, it has been announced that AXA’s Ballam Road operation will close at the end of the year and a second consultation will now begin with employees.

A spokesman for the firm said: “No decisions have been made regarding these roles and AXA will conclude the consultation with employees before making any further announcements.

“AXA has a proud and historical association with Lytham and this decision has been taken only after a thorough review and full consultation with employees.

“The occupancy levels of the Lytham site have been decreasing over recent years while the Bolton site has been growing, benefiting from a wider recruitment pool for the finance, IT and operations roles currently held in Lytham. It is against this backdrop that this decision has been made.”

Fylde MP Mark Menzies said: “I have met with a number of employee representatives to offer my support, which resulted in me organising a meeting with AXA’s HR director, who came to see me in Parliament at the end of May. With regards to jobs, I have asked them to consider all options so that some jobs can be retained locally, even if not on the current site.

“I have also asked to be kept closely informed as to future plans for this prominent site in Lytham and hope it can be successfully redeveloped in a similar way in which the former Land Registry building – now Danbro – has been on Lytham Green.”