Thomas Cook is proposing to close its Birkenshaw office by the end of January 2015.

A 45-day consultation for all 147 employees will begin on Monday, February 3. The company said the back office and support functions currently based in Birkenshaw, near Bradford, may be transferred to Peterborough, scrapped or possibly outsourced.

The company said it hoped to retain as many employees as possible, but if the proposal goes ahead some compulsory redundancies are likely. More details on the timings of the changes and the location of each department will form part of the consultation process.

Thomas Cook said in a statement: “As always, we will explore all options for those impacted by the proposals including possible relocation or redeployment opportunities.  As the affected roles are back office functions, customer service levels will not be affected by the phased transition of work to Peterborough.”

Reto Wilhelm, managing director of Thomas Cook UK & Ireland, said: “We’ve made a commitment to improve not only the profitability of the UK business, but also place the customer at the heart of all we do. 

“Today’s announcement is another important part of that strategy – further simplifying our processes and removing role and function duplication. We are confident that these changes will improve the service we offer to our customers.”

He added: “We fully appreciate the impact this decision will have on our Birkenshaw-based employees and are committed to doing everything that we can to support the team over the coming weeks should our proposals go ahead. 

“I’d like to thank our colleagues at the Birkenshaw site for their professionalism as we now enter a period of consultation, during which we will explore all options with those individuals concerned including possible relocation or redeployment opportunities.”

A total of 69 employees moved to the Birkenshaw office when the Bradford office closed in March 2013, affecting around 500 staff.