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Call Agents nominated for Best New Business Award

20 February 2012 @TeessideUni


A new contact centre offering clients customer support service lines and call answering services has been nominated for a top regional business award after setting up with the support of Teesside University.

Rachel Barnes and Sharon Atkinson of Call Agents UK have been based at the business centre at the Victoria Building at Teesside University for the last 18 months and are delighted that their hard work has been recognised by the Best New Business Awards.

'We’re both very proud to have been nominated – setting up a business in this climate has been tough and being in a position to grow through that has made the experience very rewarding. We will continue to be thankful to Teesside University for the help and support they have given,' said Rachel.

After registering the business in August 2010, Rachel, who has a history in customer services and complaints handling, and Sharon, who has experience in customer services and sales, went to a business seminar hosted by Teesside University. It was there that they first heard about the business incubation centre on campus, and one month later they had an office.

Sharon said: 'We had limited business knowledge, so the support and expertise that the University have offered to us has been invaluable. They really have gone the extra mile to support us.'

Rachel added: 'We feel the success of Call Agents lies partly with our extensive customer service and sales background but also with the strong networks we have built around us.'

Rachel and Sharon are originally from South Shields and Wallsend respectively, however they are both very passionate about Teesside and raising its business profile.

Sharon said: 'We host regional networking events for local businesses. We get 30-40 businesses together to share advice and experiences and to develop strong working relationships. This support network is vital to local businesses, we collectively want to help put Teesside on the map for business, there is so much potential here.'

Call Agents are coming up to the end of their 18 month business incubation at the Victoria building and are taking the next step in their journey as they look ahead to a permanent office in the Phoenix building, also on Teesside campus.

'We have just secured a large new client at the beginning of 2012 and we are installing a new telephony system to the Phoenix building to deliver this contract. The facilities offered at the Phoenix are fantastic and they will enable us to grow over the next 12 months,' said Rachel. She added: 'We are very proud to be associated with an institution like Teesside University and we will continue to support the developing business programmes and events they deliver.'

Notes This project is part-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), managed by the Department for Communities and Local Government, securing £300m investment.

The project will make a major contribution to the ambition of the ERDF Competitive Programme 2007-13 and by increasing the numbers and survival of business start ups in the region and increasing business productivity.


In the News

Call Agents UK answers the need for jobs (Web), 22/02/2012; Northeast Journal (Web), 22/02/2012,
Call Agents UK currently has five full- time staff but aims to expand the number by up to four to deal with the demands of the new contract. Although started by two Tynesiders, the business was initia

New centre answers the need for jobs
The Journal (Newcastle Upon Tyne), 22/02/2012, p.29,
Call Agents UK, an answering business based in Middlesbrough is taking on new staff due to the demands of a new contract. The firm was initially based at Teesside University business centre.