The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has revealed that the 2011 Census operations site will be based in Trafford, creating 1,300 jobs at what will be Europe’s largest data scanning centre.
The paper data capture operation is being managed and run by UK Data Capture (UKDC) on behalf of ONS. The 180,000 square foot secure facility in Trafford Park, Greater Manchester will be the centre of all the data capture activity behind the next census on 27 March 2011.
The Trafford Park location was selected after a nationwide search by UKDC. Stephen Meyler, Director of UK Data Capture Limited said: “The Manchester processing centre will be critical to the successful delivery of the 2011 Census. This is an exciting project for UK Data Capture and we are looking forward to fulfilling our role in this vital and important programme, with Manchester as our base.”
The investment has been supported by local partners including the NWDA, MIDAS, LSC, Jobcentre Plus and Trafford Council.
The two year operation will create 1,300 new jobs in the Greater Manchester area. UK Data Capture will start recruitment for the roles in late summer this year.
ONS Census Operations Director Ian Cope said: “Securely capturing all of the information from the returned census questionnaires is a vital part of the census process. We’re very pleased that the site has been confirmed, it is a significant milestone in our planning for the next census which is now just over a year away.”
Steven Broomhead, Chief Executive of the NWDA, said: “This is a significant investment for Trafford and testimony to increasing business collaboration. The NWDA has worked very closely with local partners and together have created a very strong team which has helped secure this investment and 1300 new jobs for Trafford and the region.”
The census provides an estimate of the population of England and Wales and is carried out every ten years by the ONS. The information given is confidential and is protected by law.
The statistics derived from the census underpin the allocation of billions of pounds of public money on local services like education, transport and health. They are also used by policy makers in central and local government to understand the needs of communities.
In March 2011 each household in England and Wales will receive a questionnaire either through the post or delivered by hand. The questionnaires can then be completed and returned by post or using the new secure online questionnaire. The paper questionnaires that are completed and returned by post will be delivered to the secure Manchester site to be processed.
Colin Sinclair, Chief Executive at MIDAS, Manchester’s investment and development agency said: “We are delighted that UK Data Capture has chosen Manchester City Region as the location from which they will run the Census 2011 programme. The creation of up to 1,300 jobs is a fantastic win for Trafford and the wider city region and serves to further strengthen Manchester’s reputation as leading location for large-scale outsourcing operations.”
Phil Lowthian, Jobcentre Plus District Manager for Greater Manchester Central said: “Jobcentre Plus welcomes the news that 1,300 new jobs will be created in Trafford as a result of next year’s census. We are ideally positioned to match these jobs to people with the right skills and are keen to work with employers to unlock the talent of the local community. I am delighted that UK Data Capture has agreed to work with Jobcentre Plus and I would urge other employers to do the same.”
Kirsty Evans, Skills Development Director at the Learning and Skills Council, said: “This is fantastic news for the Northwest. The Learning and Skills Council and our partners will play a key role in both supporting the local community and beyond to gain the necessary skills to be able to take up the opportunities that this investment will bring to the region, and ensuring the training needs of future UK Data Capture employees are met.”
Trafford Council’s Executive Member for Economic Growth Mike Cornes said: “I am delighted that Trafford has been chosen as the base for this project, especially as we will see the creation of 1,300 jobs for people across the region. This further demonstrates how well placed we are in Trafford for businesses to invest, with our skilled workforce and excellent links to the whole of the Manchester City region.”
Source: Northwest Regional Development Agency