A growing financial services firm in North Gwent is aiming for further expansion.

Cwm-based Victoria Financial Solutions took on two new staff members last year, and is now looking at further growth as its client base increases.

The firm, which was launched in 2015, has received two tranches of grant support from the Kickstart programme, and owner Matthew Poultney says this backing was critical. The scheme is administered by Tata Steel subsidiary UK Steel Enterprise and Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council.

Matthew said: “The support has been vital. It helped us to install computer equipment and to set up our office in Cwm. We are very appreciative of the help we have had.”

The firm offers independent mortgage advice, life and home insurance and a range of financial services.

Matthew said: “We have an expanding client base, mainly within a 50-mile radius. We are certainly aiming to take on more staff to cope wth the work in the next few months.

“There has been a little bit of panic and people have moved some of their plans forward as a result. Overall, though, confidence is high and the general picture is promising.”

Equity Release is a growing area as more and more people are finding that the value locked in their homes can be used to good advantage, especially in retirement, said Matthew.

“What is important is the quality of advice we are able to give our customers in what are perhaps the most important decisions they will make,” he said.

Glyn Thomas, manager in Wales for UK Steel Enterprise, said: “I am delighted that Victoria Financial Solutions is thriving. The firm is creating local jobs and developing skills for local people, and this is typical of the sort of business we wish to support through the Kickstart programme.”

Cllr David Davies, executive member for regeneration & economic development at Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council, said: “Victoria Financial Solutions offer an important service as the economy is a continually changing environment that impacts upon everyone.

“It is reassuring to know that this Cwm-based organisation is available should financial advice be required locally. Great to hear that the Kickstart Plus programme has provided essential support when needed to ensure the continued success and growth of this firm.”