AN ambitious IT company in East Lancashire is settling into its new home by expanding its horizons to the Middle East.

Managed service provider Use IT has been looking after the info tech needs of customers for more than 20 years.

And to cope with its expanding client roster, the company moved along High Street in Rishton to improved premises in a converted former Co-op store.

Pete Jackson, business development manager, said the firm had been looking to negotiate a lease for the old Co-op for some time.

He added: "The move subsequently opened up a number of new opportunities to take on extra staff with us now employing an extra full-time engineer, we have also employed a new chief security officer meaning we can now offer cyber essentials and penetration testing in-house for our clients.

"These sort of services are more often found in much larger, national IT companies. We have also worked in conjunction with North Lancs Training to enable us to take on an apprentice engineer, which has proved to be very successful.

"We are still growing and have just taken on our first overseas contract, supporting a number of companies in Dubai for their complete IT infrastructure, offering them 24/7 support."

Additional recruitment, with the appointment of a senior engineer, is now envisaged.

The company, which has customers across Lancashire and the North West, from sole traders to major networks, was first established in 1997, with the present managing director, Mark Wilkinson, having been at the helm for more than a decade.

Turnover is expected to increase by more than 50 per cent over the course of this financial year, a feat they hope to replicate in future periods.

Mr Jackson added: "The new shop offers retail customers a chance to speak to one of our highly trained staff in a relaxed environment if they are looking for a new PC or Laptop with a comprehensive selection of products on display. We now supply a full range of refurbished iPads and Tablets and a refurbished selection of laptops and PCs."