A specialist County Durham recruitment agency that began life in lockdown is building for the future after securing a five-figure investment.

Elvet Recruitment began trading on 4 January, the day on which the third national lockdown was announced, but has gone on to smash its first year’s revenue targets within just six months.

The business, which focuses on the built environment and construction sectors, was founded by Stephen Phillips and Michael Dufferwiel, who had previously worked together in the regional office of a leading recruitment firm and who decided last year to set up in business for themselves.

After working with regional fund management firm NEL Fund Managers to secure the £30,000 Small Loan Fund investment supported by The European Regional Development Fund, the business has now taken on its first employee and doubled the size of its Durham City offices.

Five further new jobs are expected to be created as the business grows over the next 12-18 months.

Elvet is primarily focused on businesses and projects within the North East, but it is also working with clients in Yorkshire and the North West, and is aiming to further enhance its presence in both locations.

Stephen Phillips says: “We had confidence in the construction sector’s ability to bounce back, and even though the country went into a further lockdown on the very day we opened our doors, the support of clients enabled us to quickly establish ourselves.

“We set ourselves some pretty stiff initial targets, but it seems like the right moment to try to take advantage of the opportunities that are out there.”