NEW JOBS AND NEW SUNDERLAND HQ FOR PACIFICA GROUP
More than 20 new jobs have been created by fast-growing white goods company Pacifica Group by moving its headquarters to Sunderland.
Pacifica now employs over 270 people at its new HQ at Houghton-le-Spring and in Washington, where it has a refurbishment centre for white goods, warehousing and its own training academy. It is the only UK-wide domestic appliance repair and refurbishing company.
Managing director Kevin Brown and financial director Scott Pallister took the decision to move from Chester-le-Street to Rainton Bridge at Houghton-le-Spring because the company had outgrown its former base. Sunderland City Council’s business investment team helped to identify suitable property and has worked alongside Pacifica to support its expansion.
Last year the company relocated its warehouse distribution centre from Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, to Washington, again with support and advice from Sunderland City Council.
Pacifica has grown strongly in the last two years. It began operating in 2003 with four members of staff. In 2016 Pacifica grew turnover to £24.2m and increased its workforce by more than a quarter to over 270 employees.
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.”
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.
Around 95 per cent of Pacifica’s business is with major brands but it also has a growing domestic market, carrying out repairs for customers and installing boilers through its 0800 repair brand which the company is keen to grow. It has also created a new division for house insulation, which works alongside its well-established 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 per cent as a result of the scheme.
Scott Pallister is committed to keeping the business in the North East. “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.”
Councillor 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.”