Local firm ships production from Asia. It's not a news line we've come to expect in recent years.

However, this is exactly what one Birmingham company has set it sights on achieving thanks to an investment in bespoke technology.

The Audio Suite, based at the Custard Factory in Digbeth, is not only expanding its world class facilities with a second £100,000 Fairlight Prodigy 2 digital sound studio, but is also using new technology to market worldwide - particularly in India.

Managing director, Neil Hillman, said: "We have developed our own software that will allow us to make film and sound tracks available to clients wherever they are.

"Rather than relying on shipping video tapes, with time and security implications, we produce frame-accurate digital sound which is available to be digitally-downloaded from our dedicated server.

"This has proved to be a very successful method of working for all our clients and has become a valuable source of revenue for the company," he added.

While it might take someone using conventional methods more than an hour to add the finished sound to an hour-long film, after down-loading, this new method takes just over a minute.

It claims to save hours and hours of time and therefore considerable amounts of money for production companies.

Set up by Mr Hillman in 2001, the Audio Suite already has a broad UK programme credit list including 5th Gear and The Gadget Show and is listed in the top 100 UK broadcast facilities.

As well as drama, documentaries and current affairs, the company also has a track record in animation, winning a Royal Television Society Award for its work on children's cartoon Butt Ugly Martians.

Last year, helped by the UK Trade and Investment's Passport Scheme, the Audio Suite attended two major film, television, game and entertainment exhibitions in Mumbai, India and Cannes, France with the aim of attracting international clients, particularly in animation.

Mr Hillman said: "In India they have a vast pool of great visual skills, large studios, but they don't have the audio expertise that we have.

"We wouldn't compete for Bollywood films, which are a specialist product, but there is no reason why we can't pitch to do the sound for animation which is aimed at worldwide audiences.

"By saving the time and postage costs by not using tapes, and also by reducing our costs by locating in Birmingham rather than London, we can make our prices competitive in the Indian market."

Although first met with misunderstanding and surprise when suggesting that Indian firms export work to England, the Audio Suite is now in consultation with several contacts from Mumbai and is already on its way to doubling capacity.

Mr Hillman said: "We make our money by being quick.

"Now we've invested in the new Fairlight System we can increase capacity and are actively looking for new staff to help us achieve this.

"At the moment export accounts for five per cent of our total income. I would like to increase that to a quarter over the next two years.

"We want to be known as a centre of excellence for audio worldwide."