CREATIVE Print and Design is creating new jobs in Ebbw Vale due to a £1.3 million pound expansion.

The firm is adding a 14,000 sq ft extension to provide additional storage capacity and extra office space.

A third Variquick press and a new binding line are also being installed to cope with demand.

With 85 people currently employed at the Rassau site, the company hopes to recruit an additional 18.

Managing director Keith Jeffrey said the new facilities would increase efficiency and capacity.

"It means we will be able to maintain customer service at the very highest levels," he said.

"Creative Print and Design is totally committed to Wales, and this Rassau plant has become the flagship of the group.

"Our motivation comes from the enthusiasm of the local workforce and our future is bright."

Headquartered at Heathrow in Middlesex, the company set up a satellite operation at Ebbw Vale five years ago.

It claims to be the UK's largest independent printer of book covers and jackets, producing 6 million volumes a year, or one quarter of the UK market. Group turnover is around £12 million with the Ebbw Vale site accounting for £4.8 million of that.

UK Steel Enterprise - a subsidiary of Corus devoted to encouraging new investment in former steel areas - backed the firm from the outset. It's latest investment brings itsandtotal commitment to Creative Print & Design to £500,000. The balance of the investment funds came in from a variety of sources.

Russell Grant, UK Steel Enterprise regional executive, said: "We are delighted to be working closely with Creative Print & Design.

"Our long term relationship with the company means we have been able to expedite additional capital to help the company expand and create new jobs.

"It is playing an important role in the local economy.

"It emphasises training and teamwork and is prepared to invest heavily in staff training."

* Pictured: Senior account manager Franca Sidoli with UK Steel Enterprises's Russell Grant