£8m investment creates 86 new jobs in manufacturing sector

Business and energy minister Michael Fallon MP has visited a new £8m manufacturing facility at precision fabrication firm Darchem Engineering.

The investment, which has been supported by a £1m grant from the government’s Regional Growth Fund, has seen Darchem Engineering’s parent company, the Esterline Corporation, invest the remaining £7m in the plant. Darchem Engineering, part of Esterline’s Engineered Materials Platform, has completed work on the £8m investment in its North East manufacturing facility – a major project which will create 86 permanent jobs.

Business minister Michael Fallon said, “The government is backing British manufacturing – boosting jobs and growth in the North East. Through the Regional Growth Fund (RGF) we have invested £320 million in the region to help companies expand and create long-term, highly skilled employment. Darchem Engineering’s dynamic new factory is an example of the impact RGF can make through supporting businesses to deliver their plans for growth, win new contracts and create jobs.”

Mr Fallon joined Darchem managing director Billy Meijer to officially commission the 75,000 sq. ft. factory, which is situated on a brownfield site next to the firm’s main factory in Stillington, Stockton-On-Tees. The investment had been prompted by demand for Darchem Engineering’s high-quality precision products, particularly in the growing market for large scale nuclear fabrications. Darchem Engineering also produces specialist metal fabrications, fire protection and insulation products for the aerospace, nuclear, defence, oil and gas and automotive industries.

Billy Meijer, managing director of Darchem Engineering, said, “We are delighted to welcome Mr Fallon to Darchem today. Our new factory is a major new investment that demonstrates our strength in the markets we serve and the confidence of our parent company Esterline. Within our sectors, aerospace, defence, automotive and energy, we have seen significant growth and have won many new contracts and have the chance to bid for even more substantial projects which is fuelling the need for this new production facility. This area is a great place to do business thanks to the positive attitudes of the local authority and Tees Valley Unlimited, as well as our highly skilled and motivated workforce. The support from the Regional Growth Fund is a significant contribution and demonstrates the government’s commitment to balanced economic growth in British manufacturing”.

As well as the 86 new jobs, the investment at Darchem will safeguard 29 posts. The new roles will consist of technical positions as well as highly skilled fabrication and welding positions.

The project’s design architects were Leigh Cooper Associates and the construction and building works have been carried out by the Robertson Group.

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