Budget Insurance stepped up its aggressive growth plans this week when it snapped up north-west intermediary Two Cities in a deal estimated to be worth £1m.

Two Cities has 21,000 policyholders and generates premium income of £6m per year. Brokerage commission is around £1.2m.

Paul Cosh, a director at Budget, said: “We have major expansion plans at Budget and are keen to grow our call centres and 80 high street branches.”

Two Cities' book of business is almost exclusively personal lines, of which 80% is motor insurance.

Following the takeover, Two Cities' five branches in Warrington, Widnes, Wigan, Urmston and Caddishead will change their names to Budget.

Two Cities' 25-strong workforce, including senior staff, has been retained following the takeover, except for “one or two redundancies”.

The latest acquisition follows Budget's merger with rival Arnott Century for an undisclosed sum last August.

That deal brought Budget's customer base up from 185,000 to 415,000. Following the Arnott merger, the newly merged-operation said it planned to grow both through acquisitions and organic growth.

Cosh refused to comment on whether further acquisitions by Budget were imminent.

“Budget have really well-trained staff and are a excellent acquisition,” said Cosh. “They have an internal verifier for NVQs and this will benefit the company significantly.”