More than 100 jobs are set to go from an insurance firm’s offices in Southend.

Insure & Go, which is based in Maitland House, Chichester Road, has begun a consultation process with staff, as it looks to relocate the majority of its operations to Bristol in the New Year.

Only the sales and customer services call centre will remain, with losses of over 100 jobs, according to an employee.

The firm, which started in Braintree, and relocated to Southend in 2006, said It “makes sense” to have most of its staff under one UK roof in the west of the country, and that employees will be given an opportunity to relocate to Bristol “wherever possible” - some 175 miles away.

The firm sponsored Southend United for eight seasons up to 2013/14, and is thought to be moving its claims, complaints, IT, HR, finance, underwriting and marketing departments.

The news comes just days after it was announced 1,200 jobs at Revenue and Customs were being moved out of Alexander House, in Victoria Avenue.

An employee, who wished to remain anonymous, added: “Insure & Go used to be heavily involved in the local community, sponsoring lots of spots teams, not least being Southend United's main sponsor until a few years ago.

“This will fit into the depressing narrative of large companies closing their town centre offices in Southend over the last few years.

“Combined with the HMRC announcement it's even more of a blow.”

In recent years, HSBC closed down its operations in Victoria Avenue, while Lloyds Bank moved its call centre from Southchurch Road to Birmingham, with both decisions causing hundreds of people to lose their jobs.

The employee added: “I would estimate 100 to 120 job losses from the two floors that are closing (many of which are highly skilled/well paid jobs), which is going to be another blow to the town centre as Insure & Go are one of the only major private sector companies left in the town.”

The company was bought by a Spanish firm MAPFRE Insurance (corr) in 2010, and now it wants to consolidate all its business within its existing offices in Bristol.

Only one floor out of three at Maitland House will remain.

When the Echo put the move to a customer services advisor, she said: “Only certain departments are moving.”

A spokesman for MAPFRE said: “MAPFRE confirms it has concluded a consultation with staff in the Southend office, following the proposal to relocate most of its travel division operations to Bristol. The sales contact centre will remain in the current Southend office.

“All employees affected by this decision have had the opportunity to relocate to Bristol and we are pleased to report that a number of our employees have decided to make the move to Bristol.”

It is understood the number of employees willing to relocate is minimal.

But the spokesman refused to confirm how many staff are facing redundancy, or how many staff were being consulted with.

Insure & Go - an Essex success story

Essex-born Insure & Go was one of the biggest insurance companies in the country when it moved into the borough nine years ago.

It begun in Braintree in 2000, before moving to the Essex south coast in 2006, creating 100 jobs in Southend – and then expanding two years later, creating even more roles.

And despite many companies moving their call centres abroad, to the annoyance of their customers, Southend became a prime base for the industry.

Alongside Insure & Go’s call centre were two companies which continue to expand to this day - Ventrica, in Tylers Avenue, and Converso, in Victoria Avenue.

And alongside them was Lloyds Bank’s call centre in Essex House, which closed down in 2013.

But Insure & Go also had community links to the borough – it sponsored Southend United for several years, starting when the club was in the Championship.

And it supported several local charities in the borough.

But in 2010, it was bought up by the largest insurance group in Spain, MAPFRE, for an undisclosed sum.