A Reigate-based debt purchase and collection company has said it is committing itself to the town for the next ten years and is seeking to recruit close to 30 new staff.

1st Credit, one of the largest employers in the local area, has committed to the area for the next decade by extending its lease at its headquarters at the Omnibus building, the self-contained office building in Lesbourne Road.

The company is also running workshops to teach local schoolchildren the importance of smart financial planning. The lease extension follows the recent completion of the refurbishment at the company’s headquarters that saw it upgrade its offices to provide staff with facilities including a gym. The company has stated that as it continues to expand its position in the debt management industry, it plans to recruit further staff from the local area. The company currently employs 177 permanent staff - nearly all of whom live locally - and is one of the top five local employers. The company is looking to increase its workforce by a further 28 permanent and temporary staff over the next 12 months. It said it has also begun rolling out the next phase of its long-standing partnership with Reigate schools. The company said its workshops, which have been running since 2010, give local students the opportunity to learn from 1st Credit executives the importance of responsible financial planning. Chris Collins, human resources director at 1st Credit, said: “Greater Reigate is home to our employees and we remain committed to the future of this community.

“As well as investing in the local economy by being a centre for employment, we are looking forward to continuing our school-engagement programme, which focuses on teaching Year 10 students the importance of money management and smart financial planning. “Working with local schools and charities on such an important topic allows us to give back to a community that has been so supportive of us over the years”. 1st Credit, which stresses taking an ethical approach to debt collection, won the Credit Today Industry Compliance Team of the Year award in 2013 for the fourth year running.

It has recently been awarded a three star ‘excellent’ rating from Investors In Customers and is listed as one of The Times Best Companies to Work For.