The Smart and Cook Group of brokers has opened an office in Newcastle upon Tyne.

Its new office, in Blackfriars Court in the revitalised Grainger Town area of the city, houses two operations.

One will provide independent financial advice; the other will offer commercial insurance broking and risk management services.

The teams are led by directors Denis James and Peter Newell and comprise insurance professionals with a detailed knowledge of the local economy.

“We have already established relationships with many of the leading businesses,” said Denis James.