A £35 MILLION turnover York business has been hailed as the "fastest-growing music retailer in the world" by a leading US-based industry trade publication.

Clifton Moor-based online musical instruments venture Gear4Music offers a wide range of music equipment, from orchestral to rock 'n' roll instruments, including guitars, drum kits, digital pianos, saxophones and cellos, plus leading recording and studio equipment.

The latest accolade for the rapidly growing firm has come from The Music Trades, a leading music industry magazine in North America which dates back to 1890. It follows the publication’s research into musical instrument retailers around the world.

Read by retailers, distributors, and manufacturers of musical instruments and professional audio equipment worldwide, the magazine is one of the music industry’s most respected sources for all types of market data, including ranking the world’s leading music and audio firms by volume.

Established in 2003, Gear4Music has seen huge growth in recent years following a £3.4m investment by Leeds-based private equity firm Key Capital Partners (KCP) in 2012, which enabled it to expand its international e-commerce platform.

At the time the company had sales of only £10m, but it quickly went on to complete a successful IPO (first sale of stock) in June 2015, valuing the company at £28m and raising £10.3m of cash. It has recently reported record results, with like-for-like sales increasing by 46 per cent to £35.4m.

Peter Armitage, director of Gear4Music and partner of backer KCP, said: “With another 190,000 new customers added in the last year alone, Gear4Music is an amazing success story and it’s not surprising that it has been recognised as the fastest-growing music retailer in the world.”

Andrew Wass, founder and chief executive of Gear4Music, said: “It is fantastic for a Yorkshire business to be recognised as a global leader in its field and securing the backing of private equity funder KCP has certainly played a key part in our success.

"Not only did the investment enable us to expand our online offering throughout Europe, it also put us in a strong position to launch a successful IPO.”

Mr Armitage said KCP was looking for other high-growth potential businesses to back.