FLOORING specialist Storey Carpets has sold its contracts division to a management buyout team.

The division, which has been part of Storey Carpets for 30 years, provides carpet and flooring to commercial business.

However, despite a turnover of £1.3m, the division accounts for less than six per cent of the company's total turnover.

Storey's chief executive Simon Heptinstall said: "We are continually developing the efficiency and structure of the business and we felt that our contracts division did not fit well with our vision for growth.

"Over the coming year we plan to open nine stores and our domestic sales are continuing to grow strongly."

Contracts manager, John Aitken, who has been with the company for 34 years, is taking over the division, which is changing its name to AFC Design Floors.

The new company will employ four staff, plus contractors.

Mr Heptinstall added: "John has been with Storey Carpets for a long time and I am delighted that he has taken the chance to run his own company."

Mr Aitken said: "This was an opportunity that was too good to miss, although it was daunting finishing work for Storey's on a Friday and becoming managing director of the new company on the Monday morning."

Storey's expansion plans will bring the number of stores it operates to 30, from a current level of 21.