Fortis Insurance celebrated its launch this week with 'The Great Fortis Balloon Race'.

Jane Welsh, Mayor of Eastleigh, released 5,000 coloured balloons into the sky above the offices of the Eastleigh-based company. Each balloon was individually numbered and carried a reply-paid card.

Members of the public were also offered the chance to win £100 if they found a balloon and returned it.

For the balloon found the furthest away, a Fortis agent will win a holiday in South Africa.

Fortis – formerly Bishopsgate Insurance – acquired Gloucester-based Northern Star last year.

Bishopsgate specialises in private motor, travel, household and small business liability, while Northern Star specialises in personal line and commercial insurance. Both companies will remain fully operational after the integration.