A PRIVATE company has moved into empty office space at a council HQ in Taunton.

Employment agency Meridian Business Support has relocated to Deane House, home to Somerset West and Taunton Council.

It is the second organisation to share the council building with SWT - Taunton Police Station opened there last December after leaving its former home in Shuttern.

Meridian's move from smaller premises in High Street comes ahead of the company's planned growth into next year.

Extra staff are being taken on due to growth in the commercial and industrial sectors.

The team has already increased by 25 per cent and the company hopes to develop into further markets "to support local businesses across the South West".

A company spokesman said the new offices will provide a better working environment for employees in an easily accessible and well-known location.

The modern, open plan premises at Deane House will also act as a central meeting place for Meridian’s regional-based employees, with a new training room that can also be used by clients.

Taunton branch manager Caroline Drew said Meridian aims to be the agency of choice in each of its geographical locations.

She added that the firm plans to grow in its current sector of office and professional, temporary and permanent recruitment and to expand its industrial and technical presence and expertise.

Ms Drew said: "I'm delighted Meridian has invested in the future of the Taunton branch.

"Meridian has successfully placed numerous candidates with local employers on a temporary and permanent basis.

"The move will allow us to continue to build our presence within Taunton and the surrounding areas.

"The move to Deane House will allow us to be more accessible to both candidates and clients within the local community, providing them with a full range of recruitment solutions.”

The office will be officially opened tomorrow (Thursday), when SWT leader Cllr Federica Smith-Roberts cuts a ribbon.

She said: "Deane House is a superb facility within the heart of the community where we are able to offer local people greater convenience by having public services under one roof.

"The recently upgraded building also has space to accommodate partners in the private sector and I am delighted to welcome the first of those, Meridian Business Support, to Deane House."