A DIRECT marketing firm in Glasgow has announced it will double its workforce after a successful inaugural year of business.

Aquira, which celebrates its first anniversary in the city today, has launched a recruitment drive which will bring an additional 220 jobs to its Scottish operation.

The company was originally founded to provide a sustainable supply of new customers for some of the biggest firms in the UK.

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It has experienced massive growth since First Minister Alex Salmond officially opened its Sales Lab on the banks of the River Clyde last July.

Staff numbers have sharply risen from 15 to 200 in the last 12 months, with preliminary plans to expand having been discussed as early as last October.

At the same time, turnover has also dramatically increased from £3 million a year ago to around £12m this year.

Their recent success has convinced directors of the need for further expansion with plans to more than double the workforce now underway.

An Aquira spokesperson said the company would be 'flexible' towards recruitment and so the opportunities to be advertised will be open to both full and part time applicants.

Mark Walton, chief executive officer at Aquira, paid tribute to the first round of employees who have already made a major contribution to the firm's growth.

He said: "One of the main reasons we decided to locate the business in Glasgow was due to the abundance of highly-skilled workers there.

"Those workers form the backbone of the company and have been instrumental in the massive growth we have seen in the past year.

"We cannot think of a better way to celebrate our first birthday in our new home than by launching our recruitment drive for 220 new colleagues."

Aquira works with some of the country's biggest companies to bring in new customers through sales campaigns and maintains that it is careful to make sure it doesn't breach any regulations.

Among the most prominent clients it has are blue chip names such as Sky, ScottishPower, Visa and Allianz as well as telecommunications giants Vodafone, Three, and Orange.

Aquira claims to be an expert in consumer relations, employing 'cutting-edge data platforms' to nurture potential customers.

Mr Walton added: "Our unique approach, which places a huge emphasis on being fully compliant with data protection legislation, is one that is clearly paying off."

Dionne Niven, head of human resources with Aquira, suggested the company is a market leading specialist in terms of the recruitment and development of its employees.

She also stated that the firm always keeps the long-term development of its workers in mind and tries to retain them.

"We pride ourselves on our unique culture," she said. "We're not ashamed of being a sales company — we embrace it.

"We attract the best talent by creating a real sales environment where people can earn what they are worth.

"Aquira is a big believer in developing people and rewarding success.

"We have an excellent salary and bonus structure in place."