Cotswolds-based estate agent Butler Sherborn has joined forces with Oxford agency Kemp & Kemp Residential, to expand into the city.

The new, larger firm, operating under the Butler Sherborn brand, will employ 40 staff.

Its five branches include former Kemp & Kemp Residential branches in Summertown and Wantage plus Butler Sherborn’s offices in Burford, Stow-on-the-Wold and Cirencester.

It offers residential sales, lettings and management plus consultancy services in renewable energy, equestrian, farms and estates. Butler Sherborn launched in Burford in 1991, while Kemp & Kemp Residential was started 10 years ago under licence from property consultancy Kemp & Kemp LLP, which will continue to trade from its Abingdon premises.

Gavin West, former managing director of Kemp & Kemp Residential, who will head-up Butler Sherborn’s Oxford and Wantage branches, said: “This is very exciting. We are looking to create a larger brand which can compete in the London and wider markets.

“This is a merger of two companies which covers Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire plus an associated branch in London.”

Sam Butler, senior partner and founder of Butler Sherborn, said: “It’s a combination of two really good businesses and expands our territory dramatically.

“It’s the right time to do it now that the recovery of the property market is under way.

“Given the geography covered by both firms, joining forces struck us as a natural progression and excellent fit.

“It gives us an Oxford and a Wantage base and is the right business move.”