YORK Science Park is cementing its reputation for nurturing business as two resident firms leave the site having outgrown their premises.

Creative Digital agency The Distance and IT company Rapita Systems have both moved to larger accommodation having spent their formative years at the Science Park, in Heslington.

The Distance started life in 2012 at the park’s purpose-built incubation space, Springboard.

In its first seven months the business expanded so rapidly that its floor space had to be tripled to cater for its new team, and it subsequently moved across the Science Park to new offices in The Catalyst.

Now employing 18 staff, and with a growing client list and turnover forecast to hit £1 million this year, The Distance is moving to a converted Grade II listed building in Skeldergate York.

The company specialises in e-commerce, mobile apps and digital marketing, and works with a range of clients from the NHS, Moshi Monsters and Astra Zeneca to local SMEs including York Coffee Emporium.

Anthony Main, mobile director and co-founder of The Distance, said: “Choosing to start our business on York Science Park has played a key role in its rapid growth.

“We’ve been able to develop many very productive partnerships and collaborations with other residents, which have really helped us move forward. We have also been able to work very closely with a number of departments at the University of York, including those of theatre, film and television and computer science.

“We are now very excited to be moving to our new offices in York and looking forward to 2014 as the year when we can consolidate our business, and continue to expand.”

Rapita Systems started in 2004 as a spin-out from the University of York’s computer science department.

The company moved into York Science Park’s IT Centre in 2005 and still has a close relationship with the university through board membership.

Moving to Osbaldwick’s Link Business Park, Rapita Systems is a technology company which creates tools to test the effectiveness of software in areas such as avionic flight and automotive engineering control systems.

The company now employs 30 staff and exports to clients around the world, including Europe, China, Brazil, Canada and the US.

Guillem Bernat, chief executive of Rapita Systems, said: “York Science Park has been an excellent location for us and created a superb platform for success.

“Over the years it has helped us maintain our long established links with the University of York and attract high-quality staff to meet our expansion plans.

“Although we are sad to leave, we have reached a point in Rapita’s growth where relocating to the new offices were the most logical move for us.”