Internet service provider Zen Internet is to open an office in Leeds city centre and has strong growth plans for the next 12 months.

Founder Richard Tang told the London Internet Exchange that the aim is to add 83 UK jobs this year.

The Rochdale-based firm currently employs 490 staff but its HQ has space for 1,000.

“We’re just about to open another office in the city centre of Leeds,” he told the quarterly meeting of the not-for-profit organisation.

“We’re also open to acquisitions but haven’t found one yet that fits into our strategy and culture… but we’re looking at that in the background.”

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Zen Internet recently reported an annual turnover of £71m – up 11 per cent on the previous year – with operating profit of £3m (up 55 per cent).

The company, which has 126,000 broadband customers, aims to become a £100m business within three years and a £250m firm within ten years as it takes on giants BT, Sky, Virgin Media and TalkTalk.

Late last year Tang, who started Zen from his parent's home in Rochdale in 1995, stepped down as CEO in a ‘job swap’ with previous chairman Paul Stobart.

“He shares my values about business and he’s grown businesses from Zen’s size to much bigger than Zen’s size,” Tang told the LINX members.

“[I knew] he could potentially do my job better than I could do it and it would free me up to do other things to promote Zen.”