A SHIPPING container business is looking to create new jobs after acquiring three new sites.

Parsons Containers Group, based in Sedgefield, County Durham, has obtained a new Darlington site for its U Hold The Key self-storage business.

In a response to growing demand, the firm has opened the 5.2 acre site on the A66 to serve customers in Darlington and Teesside.

The company is adding further sites in Sunderland and Mainsforth, County Durham, which will give the company a capacity of 1,500 stores, up from the current figure of around 1,000.

The Parsons Group has increased its workforce by five to 22 in the last 12 months, and plans to add another five staff next year.

This comes after the group saw turnover double in the last three years to £2.6m, with sales also trebling in that time.

Jane Skilbeck, general manager at U Hold The Key, said: “This expansion is driven by the well-established success of our business model, which is based on delivering inexpensive, easily accessible and very flexible self-storage that is available 24 hours a day.

“U Hold The Key has been around for 15 years and we now have a large and loyal existing customer base.

“Many of those customers have been with us for a number of years and it is clear that what we offer is a vital service that supports a local economy.”

U Hold The Key recently launched a mobile app to help customers identify the right type and location of storage for their own requirements, and book and pay for that using their smartphone or other device.

Ms Skilbeck added: “Storage is a necessity for a lot of individuals and businesses and we offer a secure and convenient solution.

“Our new sites near Darlington, in Sunderland and at Mainsforth mean that we can now bring our facilities for domestic and business storage to new areas and build on our industry leading position.

The Parsons Containers Group of companies is one of the region’s leading shipping container businesses, and has been operating since 2000.

The group, which also includes Parsons Containers Ltd which and online brands Container Container and Containers Now, plans to develop workshop, retail and café outlets at the Darlington site.

Parsons has also supplied container solutions to support major events in the region, such as Lumiere in Durham, and the Tall Ships in Blyth.