Gateshead-headquartered Flame Heating Group is fuelling its expansion plans with a series of key appointments and further job creation.

The independent Heating & Plumbing merchant is expanding its Scotland operation, while increasing its workforce among its network of North East trade counters.

Flame has expanded its head office team with the appointment of Victoria Brown as Assistant Management Accountant, Grant Thompson as Internal Sales Co-coordinator, while two new apprenticeships within the company have been supported.

Darren Kipling has also been appointed as Commercial Manager for Scotland.

Flame is set to launch its third trade counter in Scotland this summer, with the opening of an Edinburgh site, which will initially create two jobs, including the hire of Adam Killen as Branch Director.

Flame, which operates 10 trade counters in the UK, including eight in the North East, launched its first branches in Scotland, in February – in Ayr and Glasgow.

Following the latest raft of appointments, the Flame employee count has risen to 56.

John Savage, Managing Director of Flame Heating Group, said: “It is an exciting time for the Group as we kick on with our Scotland project, and extend our presence in the North East. These latest appointments, together with further job creation in the near future, will help support and drive forward growth at the company.

“The launch of our Edinburgh branch is another step forward for what we’re trying to achieve in Scotland and we are already experiencing strong growth north of the border. We are hoping to launch further branches across the UK over the next 12-18 months, in line with our ambitious expansion strategies.”