Fareham is to be the nerve centre for a major new European headquarters for US firm Xerox Engineering Systems.

Facilities at Cams Hall, availability of staff and accessibility to Europe, prompted XES to decide on Fareham for its new European customer centre, which becomes operational at the beginning of February.

Set to bring new jobs to the region and massive investment, XES has initially taken space in Delme Place, at Cams Hall, and said it would be developing business for the region.

The move to bring XES to the region was encouraged by the South East England Development Agency, which has been working closely with XES advisers Deloitte Consultants to find a suitable base for its operations.

The Hampshire Economic Partnership and Harbour Economic Development Forum were also involved in moves to attract such high profile investment to the region.

A trawl throughout Europe pinpointed the south east as the most suitable location and SEEDA introduced XES to a number of potential locations - including Cams Hall.

XES chairman Colin O'Brien said: "The region offers a good language skills base, an attractive quality of life and easy access to the rest of Europe.

"The new centre will provide us with a central point for customer service throughout the UK, Spain, France, Italy, Germany and Switzerland.''

Mr O'Brien said that jobs created by the centre will range from call handling to all aspects of customer administration and would require a high level of language skills.

"We want to recruit bright people who will have an opportunity to grow and develop with the business and, above all, we aim to create a fun, progressive working environment for our employees.''

SEEDA chief executive Anthony Dunnett said there were a number of similar projects in the pipeline which he hoped would mean even further investment for the future.

"We are delighted XES has chosen to establish itself in the South East.''