Loans company set for major expansion

WEST Suffolk payday lending company Fortress Group is poised for major expansion after being acquired by Texas-based Think Finance Inc.

Fortress, which is based in Bury St Edmunds, is one of the UK’s leading providers of payday loans ? short-term loans of up to one month to keep borrowers in funds until their next salary payment is due.

The company, which operates entirely online and trades under the brand name “1 Month Loan”, was launched in Cambridge in 2004 but relocated in 2009 to Bury, where it currently employs around 50 people.

The value of Think Finance’s investment is not being disclosed, but Fortress chief executive Kieran Moulden said that, as a result of the new funding, the company aimed to expand its business 10-fold, and increase its workforce to between 150 and 200 over the next two years.

These jobs would all be based in Bury, he added, with the town having been identified in 2009 as an ideal location for expansion and there being no plans to relocate or open offices elsewhere as a result of the company’s sale.

“This is a fantastic deal for Fortress, which gives us an entrepreneurial corporate partner to help fund our growth as the UK market develops,” he added.

n CurveMotion, a new interactive leisure venue in Bury St Edmunds, says it is set to create around 40 jobs when it opens in late spring.

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Facilities will include roller skating, skate ramps, mega slides, play frames, a restaurant and party areas.