Tees design firm set to grow after cash boost

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A fast-growing digital marketing company says it is looking to create Teesside’s biggest creative and digital agency after investing in fellow Middlesbrough firm Eighty8 Design.

Two new creative jobs have been immediately created at Eighty8 Design following Viral Effect’s cash injection, with more to follow in the months and years ahead.

Neighbours within central Middlesbrough’s thriving digital hub, the Boho Zone, the two firms have worked closely on a number of initiatives since setting up their business together within Teesside University’s business start-up hub, the Victoria Building.

The two firms believe formalising their partnership will boost both companies.

Eighty8, who have created websites for mima, Macks Solicitors, Applied Integration and Velocity in the North-East, will carry out design work for some of Viral Effect’s customers but the main focus will be on winning new customers across the North-East and beyond.

Explaining an initial £80,000 investment in staff and equipment, Viral Effect managing director James Pennington – pictured (above, centre) with Eighty8 directors Shaun Buckle (left) and Jonathan Waters – said: “Due to the financial risks involved, many small businesses struggle to make the next step into expansion and recruiting new staff.

“This is about securing existing jobs and creating many more as we go forward. We want to keep good talent such as Eighty8 Design here on Teesside, but it’s also about generating new jobs and we’re looking to recruit talented young designers and developers.

“Having worked with Eighty8 on a number of different projects over the past few years, I know from experience how good they are.

“They are among the very best in the North-East. With some vision and ambition, there’s no reason why we can’t build the biggest creative digital agency on Teesside over the next few years.”

Eighty8 Design’s creative director Jonathan Waters, said: “We want to work on bigger projects, win bigger contracts and therefore employ more people. This investment will help us both grow faster, so it makes good sense to pool our resources.”

Technical director Shaun Buckle added: “I’m excited for the future of Eighty8, both short and long-term. We have some challenging goals for the year but we’re already in talks with some major businesses about creating bespoke, responsive e-commerce websites.”

Having become friends whilst attending Cleveland College of Art and Design and then studying on the same graphic design course at Teesside University, Buckle and Waters set up Eighty8 Design five years ago.


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