Jobs boost as white goods company moves to Sunderland

From left to right, Pacifica Group finance director Scott Pallister, Sunderland City Council deputy leader,  Coun Harry Trueman, and Pacifica Group MD Kevin Brown.
From left to right, Pacifica Group finance director Scott Pallister, Sunderland City Council deputy leader, Coun Harry Trueman, and Pacifica Group MD Kevin Brown.
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More than 20 jobs have been created after a white goods company moved its headquarters to Sunderland.

Pacifica Group, which had been based in Chester-le-Street, has moved to Rainton Bridge, in Houghton-le-Spring.

The company now employs over 270 people at its new HQ, and in Washington.

Scott Pallister, Pacifica’s financial director, said: “The move to Sunderland has been fantastic for us.

"It brings together all administrative and office staff with call centre, planners and dispatch workers in one building.

"The city council was really helpful in understanding what we needed and finding a building that suited us so well.

“We intend to carry on growing. We have recently won some major international brands as customers, and Pacifica is now doing most of its business in the UK’s big cities – London, Manchester, Birmingham.

"This move has helped us improve customer delivery, offer more flexible appointments and help to ensure a smooth customer journey from start to finish.

"We have a motivated, skilled workforce here, and we will keep our base in the North East, where we began, and where we will continue to grow.”

Pacifica relocated its warehouse distribution centre from Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, to Washington last year. It has white goods, warehousing and its own training academy.

Meanwhile, Sunderland City Council's business investment team helped to identify the new HQ for what is the only UK-wide domestic appliance repair and refurbishing company.

Pacifica is rapidly growing, having begun operating in 2003 with just four workers.

Turnover grew to £24.2million last year.

The company also successfully applied for a £250,000 grant from the Let’s Grow Regional Growth Fund to support the creation of new jobs in 2016.

Coun Harry Trueman, deputy leader of Sunderland City Council, said: “It’s great to welcome the Pacifica Group’s headquarters to Sunderland.

"Pacifica is exactly the kind of company that thrives in our city - ambitious and expanding, committed to creating jobs and income in our local economy.

“We are pleased to have been able to work with Pacifica to find its new HQ, as we did with its warehouse distribution centre, and we look forward to continuing our relationship with the group as it continues to expand.”

About 95% of Pacifica’s business is with major brands.

However, it also has a growing domestic market, carrying out repairs for customers and installing boilers.

It has also created a new division for house insulation, which works alongside its white goods, boilers and heating repairs for domestic customers.

Pacifica Group has set up a unique white goods apprenticeship programme for engineers working in washing machine, cooker and fridge repairs around the UK.

Engineers are now periodically brought back to their purpose-built training academy at Washington for product knowledge testing and Pacifica has increased its field workforce by 29% as a result of the scheme.