A SCOTTISH recruitment firm has set out ambitious plans to expand in Ireland and the North-west of England amid surging demand from clients to fill digital and IT roles.

Gareth Biggerstaff, the recruitment sector veteran who formed Edinburgh-based Be-IT four years ago, has forecast increasing turnover by more than 50 per cent this year to as much as £13 million, declaring that demand for digital change across society is at an “all-time high”.

The buoyancy of the sector has given Be-IT the confidence to invest £100,000 in a switch to a bigger office in Glasgow, as it looks to capitalise on the growth of the tech industry in Ireland and north-west England. The switch to the 1,750 square feet office on St Vincent Street comes after the firm turned over more than £1m for the first time in a single month, which occurred in November.

Be-IT already has an office in Belfast, as well as in Edinburgh, but the expansion into England marks its first foray south of the Border.

Mr Biggerstaff anticipates growing staff numbers from 24 to the “high 30s” by the end of 2018, with the growth in headcount tipped to continue in the years to come.

He said: “There is a high degree of confidence in the business… and it is being driven by the market, and the reception to the business from the services we are selling."

Mr Biggerstaff added: “With the increased level of digitalisation in society, the demand for digital change is at an all-time high.

“This is really driving massive demand from the people that we sell [to], hence the reason there is a great opportunity to expand in the North-west and into Ireland as well.”

A recent management restructure at Be-IT saw Nikola Kelly promoted to the post of managing director. Mr Biggerstaff is now chief executive.

Ms Kelly said: "My new appointment will allow me to concentrate more on the operational running of the business whilst I shall look at options of further growth in the future.

“The Northern Ireland economy is growing. Investment and support for high tech cyber, fintech and service organisations has promoted a growing tech hub in NI.

“However, there is a lack of experienced technical staff to ensure continued growth. We plan to bring the UK and NI market place together and service demand in NI and Republic of Ireland with candidates from mainland UK.