A North East website design company is celebrating 20 years of being in business this month (November).

Edward Robertson was set up in 1996 by then school friends Graham Miller and Simon Crisp when only a handful of websites existed.

The year was before Google existed, saw the Spice Girls ruling the musical charts, Prince Charles and Diana Princess of Wales divorce, and the first ever cloning of a mammal; Dolly the sheep.

Graham Miller, 44, said: “We’d known each other since we were 12 years old and knew that we’d like to work together. We either wanted to jet off to Vietnam to open a bar or set up a business in the newly-developing internet industry that we were following with interest.

“We decided to stay in the UK in the knowledge that websites were likely to be the way forward, and set up the business with some money I had saved. We literally had a small office unit in Darlington, and a table, telephone and a computer each!”

Since then pair have grown the business from a turnover of £14,000 to £700,000, created well over 500 websites, and have employed 14 staff members – all while riding out dramas such as the Dotcom Crash in 2002, five UK Prime Ministers, and the continual success of mobile phones and other hand-held devices.

Simon, 45, said: “We’ve been creating websites since 1996 and we’re still not tired! Ensuring we’re always on top of the latest technology trends and winning six awards has been amazing.

“But our proudest achievements definitely involve people! This includes helping our clients get what they need by creating a website to growing our fantastic team of talented people.

We’re particularly proud that Greg, who joined us in 1996 through the then-known YTS scheme, has built his career with us and is still with us 20 years later.”

Originally based in Darlington, Graham and Simon also opened office premises in Newcastle City Centre in 2010. They have also built up a varied client portfolio including Bannatyne Hotels, Fitness Clubs and Spas, Great British Blues Festival, Seymour’s Homes – as well as Chilli Pepper, the sandwich shop on their street in Newcastle.

Graham said: “This is a wonderful time to say a heartfelt thank you to everyone who has been involved with us for the last 20 years – here’s to another two decades!”