WORKERS at NTL's offices in Hook will keep their jobs despite drastic cutbacks by the company - and the size of the workforce at the north Hampshire headquarters is actually likely to grow.

This week, NTL announced thousands of positions will be cut or outsourced following its merger with rival cable company Telewest.

NTL will be shedding 6,000 jobs as it completes the £3.4billion merger with Telewest. About 1,500 jobs at call centres in Liverpool and Swansea will be outsourced to IBM, and 54 posts in Teesside are also expected to be transferred to IBM.

NTL has said it plans to cut the remaining jobs by not replacing departing staff and cutting temporary staff, as well as outsourcing some other positions.

However, NTL has said there will not be job losses at its headquarters in Bartley Wood business Park, Hook, where 880 people are currently employed.

And numbers at the site are to increase, with NTL moving Telewest's head office operations to Hook from Export House in Woking.

A statement released by NTL said: "Hook has been selected on the basis that it is a purpose-built facility with existing capacity to accommodate future growth of the new business."

No decision has been made on how many of the Export House staff will be transferred to Hook, but 500 people work there at the moment and the transfer is due to be completed by the end of the year.

NTL made a profit of £4million in the first three months of the year but has debts of more than £5billion.

Last month, the company bid almost £1billion to buy Virgin Mobile with the intention of rebranding itself under the Virgin banner and, in doing so, becoming the first UK firm to provide cable TV, mobile phone services, internet access and standard phone services.

First published: Thursday, May 11, 2006