On-line bingo giant tombola is to create dozens of new jobs on Wearside.
The firm is is planning to extend its software development workforce by a further 80 people as part of an ambitious growth strategy.
"The expansion is in line with our 20:20 strategy to double our turnover and our workforce over five years,” said Chief Executive Phil Cronin.
"About 75 per cent of these new roles will be in software development. Other roles will include animators, graphic designers and in product management," he added.
The gaming giant already employs 310 people in Sunderland and last month announced its intention to build a new 25,000sq ft. office next to its current HQ.
"Most of these roles will be based in our new building, and some in our Rose Line Building," said Phil.
"What we want to do with our new office is create the best working environment for our team – modern, welcoming, a place where people enjoy coming to work.
"We’re a tech company, and with the addition of these new positions, we’ll be one of the biggest employers of software developers in the region – with about 120 positions."
Unlike many other online gaming companies, tombola has its own in-house team of game designers and developers creating games for its website and apps, as well as tombola arcade, a new service giving people the opportunity to play arcade games on the go.
"That gives us a real edge in the market – and provides genuinely interesting and challenging work for our software developers," said Phil.
The company has its own Recruitment Executive, Marc Lightfoot, and recently introduced flexible working, an important factor for members of the team from as far afield as North
Yorkshire and Northumberland.
The firm has its own academy to train staff, which is taking on six new graduates, but is looking to recruit both experienced developers and graduates.
"We need the right balance between the experienced programmers and developers and people coming into the industry," said Phil.
"We have good working relationships with all of the North East universities, and recruit from all of them. It’s a competitive market, but we’re well placed to make sure we recruit the
"The tech sector is increasingly important to the region and it’s exciting for us to be part of that," he added.
Sunderland City Council leader Coun Paul Watson said he was delighted tombola was recruiting so many new staff: "It’s great that tombola are based here on
Wearside, they’re a leader in their field and an important employer in the city.
"The company has made a strong physical commitment to our city with its plans for a new riverside HQ and it’s good to hear that it is recruiting more new talent.
"These types of jobs are as important for the city as the number. Sunderland has a growing reputation for innovative, ambitious tech companies and tombola’s expansion can only add
to that reputation.
"What is especially pleasing is how tombola is a home, family, and city-grown company that is succeeding in a very dynamic sector and it continues to recognise, support and re-invest in its roots. We can be very proud of this company and we all wish them more success in the future.”
If you’re interested in a role at tombola, clicketty-click on https://www.tombola.co.uk/careers