The Manchester-based specialist property PR agency iworx has been sold to Leeds creative agency DS Emotion, which is now planning to develop its business on this side of the Pennines.
Iworx founder Victoria Russell will remain with DS Emotion Manchester as a director along with DS co-founders Angus Armitage and Matt Button.
The agency will serve clients nationally from its three offices in Manchester, London and Leeds, providing clients in the property sector with a one-stop-shop for their corporate marketing, development brochures, digital and media relations requirements.
Angus Armitage said: "Manchester and the North West have always been a powerhouse of property development and we're seeing activity here is on the rise, second only to London, so it was an obvious target for our expansion.
"We had worked with iworx on a number of projects and realised there was a good fit between the services we provide, the clients we work for – some of which already cross over – and we believe that property marketing should be holistic.
"We are delighted with the response from our clients and the people we deal with throughout the region's property sector, which has been universally positive. We're so pleased Victoria decided to come on board and look forward to the new opportunities this mix of experience and expertise will bring."
DS Emotion was established in 1991 in Leeds and opened in London in 1996. It now employs 20 people nationally.
It specialises in property and place marketing and has delivered campaigns for Carnaby Street – London, Portman Village – London, Bury, High Wycombe, Leeds, Stoke on Trent and Kidbrooke Village E3. The firm's clients also include Grainger, CTP, Genr8, Berkeley Group, CBRE, and Land Securities.
Victoria Russell, who established iworx 11 years ago, said the partnership was ideally timed for the growing demand for property marketing, as the development sector comes back on line. She brings with her clients AEW, Cheetham & Mortimer, Edwards & Co, IVG, Knight Frank, Moorfield Group, Property Alliance Group, Sheila Bird Group and Tomorrow, aka Project Digital.
She said: "We are definitely busier and there is growing confidence around the North West's property sector.
"We are seeing new build developments start to take shape and refurbishment schemes complete and, as the sector becomes more active, marketing requirements are increasing. From pre application consultation and corporate comms, to sales collateral, digital tools and launch events, the demand is definitely there.
"Joining forces with DS is the ideal way to offer my clients a much broader range of services, with the reassurance they'll receive the quality they have come to expect from iworx.
"Being part of a bigger agency also enables us to take on larger scale projects and look beyond Manchester and the North West. The opportunity to work with Angus and Matt is not only extremely exciting but it also comes at the right time to deliver what the market wants."
DS Emotion Manchester will be based at new offices in Chancery Place. Recruitment for Manchester-based creatives is already underway to grow the team to half a dozen by early next year.