A NORTH-East financial group has moved into new, larger premises after rapidly expanding last year.

The Verve Group, which is based in Darlington and offers support services to financial planners, has moved into the town's Whessoe Technology Centre.

The company, which has also just been nominated for a Northern Power Woman Award, was previously based at Darlington's Lingfield Point.

The move means the company has more than double the space to run its courses, events and to offer internal training.

The group, which has invested £40,000 in the move, comprises Para-Sols, a paraplanning support service, Apricity, which provides outsourced compliance services, and The Art of Finance, a financial services training provider.

Cathi Harrison, chief executive of The Verve Group, said: “We have taken over the whole of the top floor of the office building, going from 2,500 sq ft to 6,500 sq ft.

“The main reason for our move was capacity. We have had such growth over the last year in terms of staff numbers, with lots more planned in future months, that we needed a larger space that offered more longevity.

"Having the space internally for our courses, events programme and internal training is a huge benefit to the group.

“The new offices have also allowed each brand to really find their own identity as a team, in their own dedicated spaces, and being all under one roof allows for more collaborative working and shared experiences across the brands – which in turn will help improve our services and offers for clients.”

The company was founded last year but has been rapidly expanding in the last 12 months.

The firm’s growth has led to a number of appointments.

Rob Sykes has been appointed as head of development, Christian Markwick as compliance consultant and Kirsty Franks as a technical researcher.

Ms Harrison added: “We have made a mix of hires, from trainees to senior roles, to reflect the stage of our journey we’re at.

“We’re also currently hiring for a variety of roles, including a junior software developer; we’ve recently brought our software development in-house, after a number of years outsourcing it, and this is an area we’re keen to build upon.”

To celebrate the opening of the new office, The Verve Group is hosting an event for local businesses, which are invited for an afternoon of networking and nibbles tomorrow, on Thursday, February 13th.

In a further boost, the organisation has also been nominated in the innovation category of the Northern Power Woman Awards, a campaign aimed at accelerating gender diversity from the North of England.

Ms Harrison said: “This has been a personal goal of ours for some time.

"The Northern Power Women awards are huge, so to be on the shortlist along with many established names really does make us excited for what is to come.

“The Verve Group was launched early last year and we could only dream of making a shortlist like this at the beginning; only one year in we are achieving our goals.”