SUNDERLAND software company 4Projects has added nine people to its workforce since the turn of the year, and hopes to have another 10 on board by the end of the year.
The firm, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, provides project delivery software which has been used on the construction of high-profile builds such as Arsenal Football Club’s Emirates Stadium and South Tyneside and Gateshead councils’ Building Schools for the Future scheme. Its programme provides a secure web-based platform where participants on a project can share documents and view and approve changes from anywhere in the world, even if they have disparate IT systems.
The company had a workforce of 60 at the start of the year. It added six staff early in 2010, and this month it added another three. Adam Belshaw will help with development while Sarah Harrington will focus on 4Projects’ retail arm and Ian Hughes will help to work up a long-term marketing strategy.
Marketing VP Clare Watson said: “By the time the year is out, we’ll probably be looking to bring in another 10 people in all areas of the business.
“Sunderland is really getting a name for itself in the field of software development and we’re very proud to be leading the charge here. Most of our recruitment is going to be in the North East.
“It’s quite a struggle to recruit the right staff because we’re not a well-known name in the area. There’s a real drain of talent from the area and we want to tell people that there’s a solid, successful company on their doorstep.”
Turnover rose from £3.1m in 2007 to £5.5m last year, while profits increased from £1.3m to £2.1m despite the impact of the downturn on the construction market. The company is based at Doxford International Business Park and has sales operations in Canada, the US and the Middle East.
Ms Watson said: “There are plans to expand geographically in the future. There’s a lot of infrastructure work going on in the Middle East and we have a presence out there.
“We’re very seriously approaching the US market, and we have a new sales manager based in Washington DC. Our plan is to roll out new offices in the States, moving westward.”
Founder and CEO Richard Vertigan set up 4Projects after developing 3D building information modelling with Taylor Woodrow, which had clients including BAA, Tesco and Railtrack. One of the group’s main focuses is on the architectural, engineering and construction sector. Its software has been used by construction companies such as Robert McAlpine and Carillion, as well as on the 2012 London Olympics building project.
It is hopes to be active in the energy sector, especially in relation to renewable technology projects. It also set up 4Retail to target the retail industry and says its product’s application could stretch to areas such as facilities and asset management.