MOTORING organisation the AA said its decision to end its car repair centre business will result in the loss of 900 jobs, including a service centre in the North-East.

The move will see Nationwide Autocentres take on 50 of the company's 122 sites, as well as 400 of the 1,300 workers that will be affected by the plan.

Under the plans, the AA's repair centre in North Shields will close with the loss of all nine jobs.

A further three repair centres in Hartlepool, Durham and South Shields will transfer to Nationwide.

Nationwide will then have a network of 225 centres, which the AA said would become its approved service provider for members and customers.

The move comes only days after private equity groups CVC and Permira completed their £1.75bn acquisition of the AA from British Gas owner Centrica.

Centrica bought the sites from retailer Halfords in September 2001, before the 122 outlets in the UK were then rebranded AA Service Centres.

AA chief executive Tim Parker said the centres had not been profitable and would be better off as part of a larger grouping of centres.

He said: "We believe this will provide a better service to our members and customers. Currently, with our 122 service centres, we are unable to provide a comprehensive service across the UK."