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Technology firm Aspires to treble pounds 3m business.

Byline: Iain Laing

ATECHNOLOGY company has plans to more than treble its pounds 3m business by growing its largely London customer base from the North East.

And Aspire Technology Solutions has just invested more than pounds 1m in moving its headquarters from Hebburn to a 17th Century mansion in Gateshead.

The four-year-old firm has two data centres, providing the latest technology to businesses in London and has turned its old base into its third so it can extend its customer base in the North East.

Wearsider Nigel Begg launched the business after nearly working 20 years in the City as an independent consultant, most recently for US computer giant EDS. He said: "I wanted to launch a business which used the skills of IT consultants in the North East to work with London companies.

"In London the IT consultants tend to move jobs every year or so. But I employ talented people who live in the North East but work on big national and international contracts with firms in London and who do not move jobs so frequently.

"They get the experience and thrill of working on big contracts which take them into Europe or the US but they can enjoy living in the North East where the quality of life is much better. We have the talent up here but people do not always want to move south.

"And our customers not only get the same quality of consultancy for less money but they also get consistency of service as their consultants work with them for a long time and get to know the business much better."

Begg wants to grow the business's revenues to more than pounds 10m over the next four years as he wins more repeat business from his London clients which are served by a London office as well as consultants in the North East.

He says the business thrives on the personal service, where businesses are given a bespoke service rather than being sold a pre-packaged product.

And he hopes to win more customers in this region after moving into a high-profile headquarters in the Grade II-listed Heworth Hall on Shields Road in Gateshead, which he has converted from a former Conservative Club but which has served as a school and a hospital in its 200-year plus history. The company already has customers in the North East including Gateshead Borough Council and Ford Aerospace.

Aspire worked with Gateshead Council and English Heritage to restore Heworth Hall. Gateshead Mayor Joe Mitchinson said: "Heworth Hall has been a recognisable structure in Gateshead since the 1600s."

Chris Fraser, Aspire technical director, said: "Heworth Hall is really the icing on the cake for us. It's been a challenging journey but we now feel that Aspire has arrived. The new building forms just part of our ambitious expansion plans, which are set to continue moving forward.

"We have new products and services in the pipeline, a number of partner announcements to make, additional members of staff coming on board and a whole host of exciting developments that I believe will take our business to the next level."
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Nov 4, 2011
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