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Plaxica, in Wilton Centre, near Redcar, pushes on after £8m investment
A PIONEERING North-East firm behind revolutionary plastics will build a new plant after an £8m investment.
Plaxica, based at the Wilton Centre, near Redcar, is developing advanced biodegradable plastics that are used in a number of household products.
The company, founded as a spin off from Imperial College London five years ago, says the investment will boost ambitious plans to increase its presence in the £250bn global plastics market and secure work in the US and Asia.
It already plays a major role in food and drink packaging, furniture, car bumpers, and carpets, and has a pilot plant at Wilton, which converts lactic acid into high performance plastic.
Bosses say the £8m cash injection will fund a second factory working on processing lactic acid from renewable sources into polymers, that can be used to make everyday products.
Philip Goodier, Plaxica chief executive, said: “We have made significant progress since previous financing in 2011, have continued to build and now have the successful Wilton demonstration plant.
“We have also increased our work on low cost lactic acid technology and are on the verge of building a second demonstration plant for this process.
“Our intellectual property portfolio has expanded and we have high levels of interest from potential licensees, and I thank our investors for their faith.”
Steve Duffield, Wilton Centre site director, said the £8m investment, made up of £3.9m from technology investment group, Imperial Innovations, £3.9m from Invesco Perpetual, and £250,000 from Nesta Investments, was a huge boost for the region.
He said: “This is a very impressive deal that not only reflects the scale of Plaxica’s potential commercial success but also recognises the uniqueness of what the company is doing and the boundaries it is breaking in its specialist field.
“It is fantastic to have such companies based at Wilton Centre and really helps to put us and the region on the map as a leading centre of excellence in innovation.”
Plaxica, which started life in Imperial College's laboratories through work by Professor Vernon Gibson and Dr Edward Marshall, also has offices at the city university.
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