Two north Yorkshire rural brokers, Gale & Phillipson and E W Smith, are set to break into the top 50 brokers in the UK by merging.

The deal creates a business with a turnover of more than £10m annually, employing about 75 people.

Group managing director Jonathan Moore said: “As a result of the merger we have committed large capital sums to upgrading IT systems and improvements to the infrastructure of the business.

“In addition we have purchased another £300,000 property in Harrogate to accommodate the quickly increasing staff numbers.”

The company will have offices in Harrogate, Northallerton and Skipton.