Business growth brings jobs boost

09:00 07 March 2012

Applegate employees celebrate a new milestone for the company by presenting a cheque for £1,000 to the North Devon Chemotherapy Appeal.

Applegate employees celebrate a new milestone for the company by presenting a cheque for £1,000 to the North Devon Chemotherapy Appeal.

Archant

Expansion plan could create 100 new jobs by the end of the year.

A BARNSTAPLE business has announced plans to create 100 new jobs by the end of the year.

Applegate Directory Ltd said it expects to double the size of its workforce as part of an ambitious expansion set to see the firm become one of the biggest independently-owned employers in North Devon.

The on-line marketing firm celebrated the recruitment of its 100th employee with a £1,000 donation to the North Devon Chemotherapy Appeal this week, but ambitious plans to expand further are already well advanced.

The company, which began life around a kitchen table at a Barnstaple home in 1997, has taken on the lease for a vacant stationery warehouse next door to its existing offices on the Pottington Industrial Estate.

The firm moved to the estate from town centre offices eight years ago and hasn’t looked back.

Managing director David Garth told the Gazette that expansion would create new sales and software development roles for local people.

“This is a very exciting time for the company,” he said. “The extension will double the size of the existing office space and there are plans to increase the number of staff to 200 by the end of the year.”

Applegate helps firms in the manufacturing and energy sectors to find buyers for their products. It markets around nine million items on its web-based ‘interactive warehouse’.

The website pre-dates Google, meaning product searches often point customers straight to the firm’s business-to-business directory.

“During the last 12 months we have been expanding much more rapidly; business is up 30 per cent year-on-year,” said Mr Garth.

“We have customers all over the world, with a growing client base in Germany and China.

“After the recession, people are making things again, particularly the small-to-medium sized businesses that make up the majority of our client base.

“The website is now receiving 2.8million page impressions a month and the directory is set to list half a million companies in the next couple of weeks.”

News of the expansion is being seen as a windfall for North Devon, which saw 1,580 people claim Jobseeker’s Allowance in January, a seven per cent year-on-year rise.

“Applegate is a good place to develop a career rather than just a job,” added Mr Garth.

“We find there are plenty of enthusiastic and committed people in North Devon who want the chance to develop software skills or move into progressively larger sales positions.”

Mayor of Barnstaple Ian Roome said the success of the business brought success to Barnstaple.

He said: “This is a fantastic success story for Barnstaple. This business is all about putting businesses around the world in contact with each other and it’s nice to think that a little town like Barnstaple is playing that role.”

2 comments

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

Other News Stories

16:45
The Taw Bridge, Barnstaple

Drivers help talk the man to safety after Sunday afternoon drama on Taw Bridge

Read more
16:44
Landlord Nick Ward and customers celebrate St George's Day at the Ship and Pilot in Ilfracombe.

The Ship and Pilot pub pays homage to England sporting success in football club fundraiser

Read more
Yesterday, 08:00
Justin Wallace, former Bideford Round Table chairman; Dr Robin Buckland, North Devon Children’s Holiday Foundation; and Alex Dziurzynski, Bideford Round Table events coordinator.

The Bideford Round Table has raised nearly £3,000 to provide holidays of a lifetime for children with serious illnesses and disabilities.

Read more
Fri, 14:58
David Cameron visiting Barnstaple this morning. Picture © Guy Harrop

Catch up with the latest General Election goings on and ministerial visits in pictures

Read more
Fri, 10:03
The new Ilfracombe launch and recovery vehicle being put through its paces on Instow beach.

£1million launch and recovery vehicle begins training exercises in North Devon

Read more
Fri, 09:37

Tractor severely damaged after accidentally catching fire near Lynton yesterday (Thursday).

Read more
Fri, 09:08
Prime Minister David Cameron (left) and Mayor of London Boris Johnson with 3 year old Stephanie during a General Election campaign visit to Advantage Children's Day Nursery in Surbiton, Surrey. Photo: Chris Radburn/PA Wire

David Cameron is launching the Conservatives’ first English manifesto, with a promise of changes to ensure that English MPs have the final say on income tax rates in England.

Read more
Fri, 09:05

The 34-year-old will appear at Exeter Crown Court for sentencing on 30 charges of fraud next month.

Read more
Fri, 08:00
What are you doing to celebrate VE Day in North Devon?

Are you doing anything to celebrate 70 years since World War two formally ended? Tell us about your VE Day celebrations.

Read more
Fri, 07:00
Frankie Moore serves his gran (lt) and Mike and Mel Braddick some salad at the Westward Ho! Big Lunch last year.

Tickets to the free community Big Lunch are expected to be in high demand, according to organisers.

Read more

Local Weather

Sunny

Sunny

max temp: 12°C

min temp: 2°C

Most Read News

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
Competitions
North Devon Football League
Order Photos
Family notices
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus Page
Family Notices 24

Digital Edition

Image
Read the North Devon Gazette e-edition today E-edition



North Devon's trusted business finder