A North East digital agency is continuing its growth with the acquisition of a web design firm.

White Digital, a website development and digital marketing agency based in Darlington’s Grange Road, has taken over Design365, which has bases in Gateshead and Newton Aycliffe.

The move will safeguard the future of Design365 and its four members of staff, after the retirement of director Alan Foster and his business partner, and wife, Anne Foster.

Douglas Dinwiddie, managing director of White Digital, said: “I was introduced to Alan by a mutual business associate, and, after the initial introduction, we met up and a discussion was held around the future of Design365.

“This is the latest in a line of acquisitions that we have made over the last few years, and it has added an array of different skills to our developer department, as well as abilities in software like Magento, so we can now offer more options, especially on the e-commerce side.

“We’ve kept the team on too, as its clients were being serviced by its staff, so logically we wanted to keep that the same, although we won’t be taking on the Design365 premises as they don’t meet our needs.”

The two companies will merge under the White Digital brand, taking the total number of staff up to 22, with Alan Foster, of Design365, remaining involved in the short term to help with the transition.

He said: “The takeover means our customers and staff will continue to be well looked-after, and we are pleased the clients and employees will continue to be in safe hands and able to grow.

“With the continued employment of Design365 staff, our clients will continue to benefit from the strong relationships we have developed over the years.”

Douglas added: “The takeover gives us more stability and a larger customer base, full of customers that we know we can provide a lot of value to.

“It also provides stability in revenue, which means we can continue to grow our team – we’ve found that there’s actually a lot more work and opportunities coming from Design365 than we originally thought, so we are now looking to employ even more staff.

“This time last year we had 11 staff members, we now have 22 and are in the process of recruiting four more.

“We’re also looking to open a new office in another area of the region to house the growing team and also to give our staff more flexibility over where to work – we have staff travelling to Darlington from Washington, Gateshead and Redcar so it makes sense.”