Online holiday company Sitel is closing its call centre in Accrington with the loss of 250 jobs.
The US-based outsourcing company will move out of the Globe Centre in November after nearly three years at the site.
It is understood upset employees were told their fate by bosses on Wednesday afternoon.
It is believed that one of Sitel's major clients, travel firm Expedia, is moving calls to Bangalore in India.
Hyndburn council leader councillor Miles Parkinson said: “It's very bad news indeed. Sitel employs a lot of people from the local area but also from outside the area.
“To lose any jobs at this time, especially with the economic situation, is very bad news. We have to feel very sorry for the employees at this crucial time. It will have a major impact on their families’ income.
“There's not that many jobs about and it's very bad news for Hyndburn, especially when they are cutting and moving to India on a costs basis.
“The devastation this will cause will be felt. It will come into effect around Christmas time which is the worst time of year to happen.”
Sitel moved into the Globe Centre in 2009 taking over the former Thomas Cook offices.
The company employs call centre staff and support workers to help customers book holidays, answer queries, advise customers on travel destinations and change booking details.
Mike Damms, chief executive of East Lancashire Chamber of Trade based in Accrington, said: “It's bad news and I'm really sorry for the people concerned because it was a reputable company working for a reputable brand.
“There are other companies like Daisy who have had pretty open recruitment for the last couple of years and these people are well trained and performed very effectively so one would hope they would be able to find alternative employment.
“The losses will affect the town as a whole and their spending power in the town will be sorely missed.”
Globe Centre chairman Stuart Nevison said: “It's very disappointing. They have recruited so hard and I feel very, very sorry for the people who have only joined the company recently.”
Joe Doyle, vice president of global marketing for Sitel, said: “It is Sitel's policy not to disclose any information publicly about our client contracts or comment on our client relationships.”