AN insurance firm is planning to take on almost 500 extra staff at its Hastings office this year.
Saga, based at One Priory Square in Priory Road, already has 306 employees and is aiming to recruit around 40 workers a month.
The company, which specialises in insurance for the over-50s, opened its doors in Hastings in January last year.
Its offices have room for 800 staff in total.
Roger Ramsden, chief executive of Saga Insurance, said: “Despite tough times for the economy Saga Insurance’s focus on quality, price and service has seen it attract a million new policyholders, which in turn creates a need for more staff.
“Saga is on its way to become the largest private sector employer in Hastings and we aim to attract, train and keep the best talent that Hastings has to offer.
“We want Saga to be the place to work and the people to work with in Hastings.
“Our employment of local people has thus far provided a £3 million boost for the local economy.
“This figure is expected to more than double in 2012 as our recruitment plans continue apace as we grow towards our full capacity during 2012.”
Cllr Jeremy Birch, leader of Hastings Borough Council, said: “We are really pleased Saga came to Hastings and are now growing and developing here.
“This is exactly what the regeneration programme was all about. Hopefully other businesses will see the attraction of locating here.”
Hastings MP Amber Rudd said: “We have been delighted to welcome Saga to Hastings, and they are proving to be a popular and successful employer.
“Hastings has an exciting year to look forward to for 2012 and it is fantastic that the town has the support of a top name that is continuing to build its business in the heart of our great town.”
Saga was one of the first firms to move into the multi-million pound One Priory Square development, which was opened back in September 2008.
Anyone interested in a career with Saga should visit saga.co.uk/careers.