AXA Insurance to flee town after row

A town in Kent is facing the departure of one of its biggest sources of employment after an indemnity insurance provider has declared it will relocate due to the row they recently had with the borough council in regards to an office space dispute.

Business insurance provider AXA Insurance was looking to hire an additional 800 staff to their current figure of 1,900 in the town of Tunbridge Wells, but the town’s council recently purchased the only available building that AXA considers viable in terms of handling its increased workforce.

The council, which declared that the Land Registry building had been purchased this past July, has refused to offer any confirmation that staff from town hall would be moving to the Forest Road location, but the site of the council’s town center, which also houses the town’s Assembly Hall, museum, and library, is currently undergoing review.

The council has stated its intention to attract a larger number of retailers to Tunbridge Wells, stating that the current site occupied by the council is the only viable option in regards to land development.

The council is purchasing the Land Registry site, which had not been submitted to an open market in regards to sale, via funding provided by the Public Works Loan Board.

David Clarke, commercial insurance provider AXA’s operations director, released a statement in which he described that there had been a breakdown of trust between the council and AXA, stating that Tunbridge Wells has shifted its focus from being friendly to businesses to instead catering more to the retail market.

Mr Clarke confirmed that AXA will be migrating some of its workforce from Tunbridge Wells, as they are currently pursuing other areas to set up shop as an alternative.

Roy Bullock, the town council’ leader, expressed that the council’s concern over the possibility of such just an occurrence, stating that AXA has never given any indications to the council of their intent to relocate their current operational offices away from Tunbridge Wells.

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