RECRUITMENT has started for 300 new call centre jobs in Accrington.

Bringing a huge boost to East Lancashire, telecoms firm BT is set to become one of Hyndburn’s biggest employers in the private sector.

So far 74 vacancies have been filled for the base in St James Square.

The successful candidates will be based at the Globe Centre when BT opens in October.

Mike Damms, chief executive of the East Lancashire Chamber of Commerce, said the call centre was very welcomed.

He said: “In the area we have a formidable manufacturing sector and we are now pleased to welcome the service sector.

“It’s good for young people to know that the service sector is also a good route to take and there are many opportunities out there.

”Although the recruitment process has been drawn-out and taken quite some time we will look forward to having another big employer in the area.”

The opening will replace company Sitel's call centre, which was based at the Globe before it closed in 2010 with the loss of 250 jobs.

A spokesperson for BT said: “Recruitment is going very well – we continue to see strong interest in the positions. The first tranche of recruitment will continue for at least the next six months.”

Hyndburn Council leader Miles Parkinson said he welcomed the opening.