NEW owners of a large Halesowen office block have enticed a major gaming company to take 15,000 sq ft – creating around 100 new jobs.

Local property developer Ruskin Properties has struck a deal with Intouch Games Ltd, owner and operator of mFortune Mobile Casino, to relocate to Fountain House.

The company, currently based in Stourbridge, was recently named in the London Stock Exchange Group’s annual 1,000 Companies to Inspire Britain list.

Intouch Games, which employs about 150 people, has outgrown its current Bradley Road premises and is planning to almost double its workforce.

It is looking to recruit staff skilled in a variety of disciplines, from computer programming to marketing, and graphic design to call centre operations.

Nick Burton, of Ruskin Properties, said Intouch Games was expected to take an additional floor in the near future,” doubling its commitment to Fountain House”.

The refurbishment of the offices, which is due to be take place, will include upgrading of windows, air-conditioning and common areas.

Mr Burton said the purchase of Fountain House, which totals 68,000 sq ft of office space in Great Cornbow, was a “great addition” to his company’s portfolio and represented a multi-million pound investment.

It was previously owned by an offshore company based in the British Virgin Islands and had only two tenants who occupy just over 10,000 sq ft.

Mr Burton said: “We are delighted to be able to bring to market high grade offices in Halesowen. The quality of most stock currently available in the area is falling short of modern occupier requirements and expectations.

“Fountain House will offer a rare opportunity to potential occupiers – office space in Halesowen that can provide them with a fresh, welcoming, up-to-date place to work that is mechanically and electrically reliable in part of Birmingham’s out-of-town office market.”

Mr Burton added the company was working with Dudley Council after concerns were raised when a Thomas Telford-designed wall surrounding Fountain House leading over the River Stour partially collapsed when trees and ivy were removed as part of external work earlier this month.

He said: “Part of a stone block wall by the entrance to the site is in need of repair. We appreciate the historical importance of this wall and we will be working closely with the Dudley MBC senior conservation officer and the section engineer, highway structures.

“In addition, we are fully committed to ensuring this important bridge is maintained to a high standard and is preserved and will be continually working closely with the local authority."

Halesowen North councillor Hilary Bills added: “I was one of the many local residents and Halesowen in Bloom volunteers who voiced our concerns regarding the removal of the trees and the damage to the sandstone wall outside Fountain House. 

"Halesowen town centre has had a chequered history to say the least and the work at Fountain House made many of us think whatever next."

"I welcome the news that the owners are working with Dudley Council to repair the sandstone wall and hope that maybe the new landscaping will become a new feature for Halesowen in Bloom.”