Bradford's largest independent firm of chartered accountants has pledged its future to the city by relocating to prestigious new premises.

Naylor Wintersgill has spent £1.5 million buying and refitting larger premises at Carlton House, in Grammar School Street, Bradford.

The company's move from Manor Row has been prompted by continued business growth and increased staffing levels.

The firm, which employs 40 people, says the investment is a sign of its ongoing commitment to Bradford city centre.

The former chapel, built in 1872 for Bradford Grammar School, has stood empty since national accountancy firm Baker Tilly relocated to Leeds more than two years ago.

Naylor Wintersgill is planning an official opening ceremony in October when the extensive refit is complete.

Alan Wintersgill, senior partner, said: "We are delighted to have purchased Carlton House which has played a significant role in Bradford's history over the years.

"The move is a clear indication of our long-term commitment to the city and our ongoing desire to continue our programme of phased expansion."

The two-storey building, with 9,000 sq ft of floor space, will provide the firm with more meeting rooms and space for desks.

Partner Howard Richardson said: "We will be looking to expand reasonably quickly." Two new staff have been employed in the company's tax department and interviews are being conducted for two accountancy trainees.

Mike Cartwright, policy and representation executive at Bradford Chamber, said: "Their clients will be pleased they are not moving far. It's welcome that this long-established company can demonstrate its continued future to the city in this way.

"We are sure the move will be a success."

Naylor Wintersgill, established in 1917, is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. Over the last two years the firm has experienced growth of over 20 per cent and gained several major new clients.

Approved as a Chartered Accountancy training office in 1996, the firm has established itself as one of the prominent training practices in the area.

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