AN ONLINE retailer of rugs is expanding into much bigger premises after running out of floorspace.

Modern Rugs will leave its Bishop Auckland base before the end of this month and move to a warehouse six times bigger, on Aycliffe Business Park.

The move to Newton Aycliffe is expected to lead to the firm recruiting addition staff.

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Bosses says the new premises will allow the retailer to stock a much larger range of products.

Established nine years ago by Northumbria University graduate Ben Dale, Modern Rugs now sells about 25,000 rugs per year and employs six members of staff.

Mr Dale said: “This is an exciting time for the business as it will allow the company to expand, taking on more staff as well as more stock. The benefits of this change should also be seen by the customer as we should have quicker dispatch times as well as the ability to lower prices.”

Councillor Bob Fleming, the chairman of Great Aycliffe Town Council’s Policy and Resources Committee, said that he “welcomed the news of another company moving to Aycliffe Business Park, it was particularly good to see an already successful local company expanding into the town.”

After graduating from Northumbria University with a degree in marketing, Mr Dale started work in web design in Newcastle. It was while working here, aged 22 that he decided to set up his own online company.

With his father having 20 years’ experience in the carpet industry, it seemed logical for Mr Dale to make use of his family's contacts and set up his own online rug company.

Eventually, this side venture started bringing in more money than his role in web design and decided to make Modern Rugs his main focus.

He moved back to Bishop Auckland, where his father’s company had been based, to set up his warehouse.

The company has expanded to become one of the UK's biggest online rug retailers.