A FORMER Apprentice finalist from Bolton has expanded her company with a new sister agency and a recruitment drive.

Michaela Wain first came to national prominence after reaching the finals of the 2017 series of the Apprentice and since then has built up her digital agency, Design and Build, alongside brother and business partner Lee-John Ryan.

The siblings' company, which started by providing digital services for construction firms, has announced that it has expanded and now also works with fire protection, organic food, and disability awareness brands.

Ms Wain said: “Whilst the pandemic has caused great suffering for thousands of companies across the country, including ours, you just have to make the most of the situation you’re in.

“I chose to implement the plans I had of expanding into a full serviced marketing and PR agency and was working on this for 18 hours a day.

"It’s been challenging for everyone and we’re relieved to finally be back in the office creating a strong, positive working culture and look forward to achieving our best year ever in 2022.”

Ms Wain has now worked on building up Design and Build UK for nearly a decade.

Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic she and Mr Ryan have succeeded in branching of the company to encompass further digital marketing services to construction companies that may have otherwise fallen behind where the digital sides of their businesses is concerned.

The company is also working with the government Kickstart scheme to help provide jobs for those between 16-24 on Universal Credit who are at risk of long term unemployment.

Design and Build says that it is aiming for further recruitment in the coming months, including through the Kickstart scheme.

Lee-John Ryan said: “We’re passionate about seeing growth in our local community and will do all we can to support it.”