Newcastle-based specialist recruitment firm Concept Personnel is marking its sixteenth anniversary in business by setting up a Milton Keynes office to support a growing client base in the Midlands and South East.

Set up in 2002, Concept was the first recruitment company in the region to specialise in permanent and temporary digital, design, marketing and communications roles, and its five-strong team now works with agency and in-house marketing team clients across the UK.

The move will create at several new jobs, and sees senior recruitment consultant Erin Kirtley step into the agency manager’s role at Concept’s Newcastle head office, as managing director Jo Carter relocates to Milton Keynes to establish the new office.

Jo Carter said: “The south Midlands has a thriving digital and creative sector, and Milton Keynes is one of the fastest growing cities in the UK. It makes sense to have an office in an area with such a high concentration of creative businesses, and it also puts us closer to our clients and candidates in the South East and London.

“Having other business interests in the area has given me chance to understand the economy and the jobs market.

“There is some great creative work coming out of the area, thanks to big employers and some top creative agencies based in the Midlands. The demand for digital roles in particular is very high, and matching candidates with employers in this specialist area is one of our key strengths.

“We are really excited about the move. London and the South-East account for almost half of all jobs in the digital and creative sector, and our years of experience in the creative world, a reputation for quality, and a wide network of contacts puts us in a strong position from the word go.

“I am confident we can bring something different to the region’s recruitment market.”

Research from industry experts the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) shows that the creative industries are worth £84.1bn per year to the UK economy. In November 2017 the South East Midlands LEP published a Strategic Economic Plan aimed at doubling the size of the region’s economy by 2050.

Erin Kirtley added: “I’m thrilled to be asked to step up into Jo’s shoes and manage our Newcastle office, and I am looking forward to maintaining the Concept reputation for delivering a different approach and a top class service.

“I have a lot of ideas for developing our business here in the North East, including working more closely with universities and colleges to connect with digital job seekers, and I am looking forward to playing my part in what will be an exciting future for the business.”