Armadillo set for rapid growth following major appointment

Berry Burgess and his daughter Rachel, at Armadillo Creative

THE owner of one of the region’s largest digital agencies has appointed his daughter onto the board of directors as the company prepares for rapid expansion over the next year.

Tyneside-based Armadillo Creative is on target to double its turnover to beyond the £1m mark by mid-2012 and create new jobs in the process as it taps into the opportunities created by emerging technologies such as mobile websites and apps.

The agency, which has also been buoyed by the ongoing demand for e-commerce content-managed websites, has almost doubled its customer base in the last year, with over 30 new clients added during 2010.

Meanwhile, in the first two months of 2011, the firm has added eight new clients to its roster and is confident of announcing several more within the next month.

The North Shields firm, which currently employs 11 full time staff, services the digital needs of businesses of all sizes from fledgling start-ups to stock market giants, as well as remaining true to its roots in traditional print advertising and marketing.

Ahead of what is expected to be the busiest period in the company’s six-year history, managing director Berry Burgess has welcomed his daughter Rachel into the boardroom to play a key role in driving the business forward.

The Sunderland University graduate will manage the firm’s ever-expanding portfolio of clients and help Armadillo gain a foothold in burgeoning markets such as the design and development of sites made for smart phones and apps for the iPad.

The move comes on the back of a bumper year for the company, in which revenues soared by 46% as the firm posted its best annual trading figures since its inception.

During 2010, the group handled projects with a number of corporate heavyweights including national sofa empire SCS, transport group Nexus and law firm Ward Hadaway.

According to Mr Burgess, who co-founded the business with the fellow creative director Lee Skinner in 2005, the next two years will see the firm continue to expand after coming through the economic downturn relatively unscathed.

He said: “I would expect that the agency will double in size in the next 18 months. We have just finished a project with an international organisation and are currently putting together proposals for a global business strategy business, a North Tyneside Council project and a national pharmaceutical firm.

“Throughout the tough times for the industry in recent years, we have worked hard, ensured our clients received exactly what they required and produced the end result in a time and cost effective manner as well as embracing and developing our services and product in line with digital progress and technology.”

On the appointment of his daughter as a full director, he added: “Rachel has demonstrated great progress and knowledge and she is not my daughter at work, she is a great account director who is here on her own merit.”

The promotion of Ms Burgess to the helm of the business is expected to be followed by the creation of four more positions in the coming months to meet the demand from new and existing clients. 

Rachel Burgess, who has worked for her father’s firm for the last five years since gaining a degree in PR and media, said: “This is a very exciting time for me. I know there will be a lot of hard work involved but I look forward to the challenge.”

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