NORTH-East recruitment specialist Wolviston has acquired a smaller rival which will push turnover up to £27m this year.

Stockton-based Wolviston last year won a contract with oil group Shell to be one of only four agencies to provide staff to onshore and offshore oil platforms around the world.

Now the company, a major employer in the region, has completed the acquisition of its rival which will take staff numbers up to more than 1,200.

Managing director Robin Davison said he had signed a confidentiality agreement which stopped him revealing the name of the company, or how much had been spent on the acquisition, until the new year.

But he said the business had a £5m annual turnover which, along with a contract Wolviston recently won to provide healthcare workers to Loughborough-based 3M worth £1m a year, will increase turnover this year from £20m to £27m.

Wolviston is also looking for 50 process and mechanical design engineers from the region to go and work in Norway for a new client.