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Stairlift firm on the up after humble beginning
A GLOBAL stairlift company founded by two North-East men in a garage has created 15 jobs after opening a £1.1m factory.
MediTek, which sells thousands of stairlifts every year in the UK, US, Japan and Australia, has moved into Newton Aycliffe Business Park, County Durham.
The business, which now has 43 employees, will develop a range of deluxe and budget stairlifts in its 32,000sq ft factory.
It said its new headquarters, which were opened by Paralympian Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, will help increase turnover to more than £10m by next year.
Phil Rice, MediTek managing director, said: “We are renowned for our innovative designs and quality engineering, and we have a core base in County Durham.
“We are constantly growing as a business and were leasing a number of units at Fishburn, which were about 10,000sq ft in space, but they became too fragmented and too small to develop our new products.
“We did look at moving away but the business has a heritage and a pedigree in the North-East, the core skills and workers are here and we are very committed about keeping jobs in the region.”
Mr Rice said the company, whose US manufacturing base in North Carolina is overseen by Mr Strafford-Price, was confident its move to Newton Aycliffe would increase business across the world.
He said: “This is the culmination of a £1.1m investment by the company with the result that we have retained our international head of office and principal factory in County Durham.
“With a rapidly increasing ageing demographic, demand for homecare products, such as stairlifts, is likely to increase markedly over the years.
“We are confident the new stairlifts will help the company grow our UK and US markets, as well as open up new export growth opportunities in Europe and the emerging markets in the East.
“We are looking to expand in the US because it is a platform for growth.
“There are a lot of elderly, wealthy people over there, so this is a market we are trying to throw our weight behind.”