App design and development agency Nodes has opened a new base in Manchester with plans to have a 30-strong team in 18 months.

The Danish company builds apps, websites and digital experiences to improve customer engagement and loyalty.

David Foster, Nodes' business and development director, told BusinessCloud the agency is currently looking for local talent to join the new office.

"We picked Manchester because of the flux of companies coming to Manchester and moving away from London and elsewhere," Foster said.

"We see it as wider than Manchester. In terms of the Northern Powerhouse, we see Manchester as the centre."

Nodes, which already has seven offices in Europe including London, Amsterdam, Berlin and headquarters in Copenhagen, hopes that its Manchester base will also provide easy access to neighbouring UK cities including Newcastle, Leeds, and Liverpool.

"I was impressed by the amount of Manchester-owned companies who've created a really impressive size of resource and client-base," he said.

"The volume of large enterprise companies up here is attractive. I've been really interested in the talk around the tech skills gap. For me, this speaks volumes about how much talent there is here in demand. If there's a gap, it's because demand is high."

Nodes is part of Tokyo-based MonstarLab, which has 800 employees worldwide and offices across Asia.

We're standalone - we've been around since the first iPhone," Foster said.

"We do apps, we do websites, we do other digital experiences, but we find that most clients we work with are interested in driving engagement and loyalty - and apps are the best platform to do that."