Sheffield has scooped hundreds of jobs – beating other rival cities in the north – as a major London firm makes a multi-million pound expansion here.
The founder of XLN, which supplies services such as phones, internet and energy to small businesses, chose to open in Sheffield rather than Leeds, Nottingham, Manchester, Cardiff, Peterborough or Newcastle.
Christian Nellemann, founder and chief executive of XLN, has acquired a 14,000 square foot site at North Bank in the city centre, close to where Sheffield Council hopes to revive a riverside business district.
The offices will open on September 9 and recruitment for up to 300 jobs begins this week. Around 400 could be created if the firm decides to take on a second floor at the site.
Mr Nellemann told The Star: “Choosing the right location was paramount for the success of our expansion.
“We had a report looking at cities in the north done by Deloitte.
“Sheffield was a really good choice. For us it was a question of transport links and recruitment areas.
“The fact there are world-class universities in Sheffield is really important, and the fact there are a number of high-profile companies in Sheffield.
“I toured a number of different cities to look at office space, and Sheffield’s had a lot to offer compared to the other cities and the feel of it is great. We are really excited.”
XLN, which has 250 staff in London and has been based there since 2002, had been looking at expansion for around two years.
The company has been in talks with Creative Sheffield at Sheffield Council and has spent £1 million kitting out its office.
The news follows last week’s approval of plans for the long-stalled Kilner Way retail park off Halifax Road, Wadsley Bridge, which are also expected to create hundreds of jobs.
XLN’s arrival was welcomed as a sign that Sheffield is ‘on the up’.
Sheffield Council cabinet member for business, skills and development Coun Leigh Bramall said: “This is further recognition that the economy is on the up and that Sheffield has a top quality offer when it comes to city centre office space and an excellent workforce.”
Sheffield Chamber of Commerce executive director Richard Wright described the news as ‘fantastic’.
He said: “It is absolutely superb, just what we need.
“It backs up the digital creative sector we have in the city and is a great message about we are trying to achieve.”
Recruitment open days take place on Saturday, September 6, from 10am to 3pm at The Crucible Theatre.