The British Telecom call centre in Alexandra Road will close within two years with the loss of 116 posts, while a further 55 are set to go as bosses streamline the Parcel Force depot in North Lane.

BT wants to restructure the way it handles customer calls across the country while Consignia, which owns Parcel Force, wants to cut costs.

The news about Parcel Force is the second blow to hit North Town in four months. The area is still reeling from the announcement in November that the Boots warehouse will close next March with the loss of 500 jobs.

Both BT and Parcel Force are hoping to lose workers through natural wastage with the former adamant that there will be no compulsory redundancies.

The decision to streamline the Parcel Force depot was announced this week and comes amid reports that Consignia will axe some 40,000 jobs across Britain.

The firm is moving to stem losses of £1.5million a day by restructuring its Royal Mail, Parcel Force and Post Office branch network.

Chiefs have identified a surplus of 185 posts between the Parcel Force depots in Aldershot and Woking, but it is the latter that will bear the brunt of the job losses.

The company has admitted that the Woking depot will close completely with around 130 workers being made redundant.

The Aldershot branch, which currently employs 125 people, will continue but with a reduced staff.

A Consignia spokeswoman confirmed: "It is not closing but it is going to lose some employees."

The changes will be implemented by August and were announced to staff on March 25.

"It wouldn't have come as a complete shock as we have been keeping them informed," the spokeswoman said.

"Although the jobs are disappearing we are hoping to give employees the chance to transfer elsewhere in Consignia. For instance, they could go and work with Royal Mail."

Rushmoor councillor Keith Dibble, who represents North Town, said: "It is another blow for North Town and that's why it is even more important that we keep things moving with regard to the Boots site and what is happening there."

Rushmoor Council is consulting local residents what they would like to be built on the site, such as homes, businesses or community facilities.

Fellow councillor Andy Straker is regional secretary of the Communications Workers' Union.

He said: "We will fight tooth and nail against any compulsory redundancies, including strike action if necessary if that's what it will take."

BT is closing 53 call centres, including Aldershot, by March 2004, with about 2,200 posts expected to go.

Instead, it will invest £100million in 30 "next generation multi-function customer contact centres". The nearest will be in Oxford and Milton Keynes.

A spokesman explained: "Having undertaken a comprehensive review across the UK we feel that creating a smaller network of cutting edge, multi-function contact centres is key to making further improvements to the quality of services to our customers."

The Aldershot centre directly employs 96 workers, together with a further 20 agency staff.

But the spokesman said all would be lost through natural wastage or transferred to other BT departments and would be given six months' notice of any changes.

He said: "There will be no compulsory redundancies.

"We have made a commitment to finding alternative roles for people who want to stay with BT."

He stressed that the company had been holding discussions with the CWU throughout the review process.

Our picture shows the Parcel Force depot in North Lane, Aldershot, where 55 jobs are to be lost.