A YORK design agency has welcomed the milestone of having taken on its 20th member of staff, just two years after the company almost folded.

Mobile app agency The Distance has boosted its team number to 20, two years after having to cut back to only two staff and being just one retained client away from closure.

Nine years ago, Anthony Main launched the business from the spare room in his flat.

It grew steadily and in 2012 merged with another York agency Media Make, ran by Ryan Atkins. Together they formed The Distance.

During the following three years the pair grew the business to a staff of 15 and were recognised in the industry with a number of prestigious awards, including Press Business Awards titles.

However, things took a turn for the worse and the two companies de-merged and Mr Atkins left, resulting in Mr Main facing a dilapidated pipeline of work.

In the end, after struggling for 18 months, the staff agreed to go part-time to help the business survive.

However then a key developer had an accident and was hospitalised for three months Mr Main said he was left with little choice but to let the rest of the staff go, leaving just himself and the accident-prone developer, to turn the business around.

The company surrendered its office in Skeldergate and moved into ACollective with a partner business.

The business only prevented closure when, in August 2016, a key client signed a long-term contract and the pair’s future began to look a little more confident.

Mr Main said: “The following week, like night-to-day, new business clients were suddenly fighting for development slots.

“We closed more than £120,000 in new business in the following three weeks, and in three months had signed a new ten year lease on offices in Micklegate.”

In two years the company has gone from being a few days from closing, to its highest turnover to date, which it plans to triple over the next three years as well as take on new staff.