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Icon Plastics hopes to create new jobs after UK Steel Enterprise backing
A PRECISION injection moulding firm, which keeps British Army tanks moving on the battlefield, says it will create new North-East jobs after being strengthened by a £200,000 investment.
Icon Plastics, based in Eaglescliffe, near Stockton, has been backed by UK Steel Enterprise (UKSE) to move into a new factory and take on more than 10 workers and create new apprenticeships.
Bosses say the cash stopped it from moving production abroad, and now hope to expand on a two-acre site in Stockton.
The company, which employs 32 workers, moulded plates for Challenger II tanks, and previously secured a deal with an energy firm to make meter casings.
The funding includes a £100,000 loan and a £100,000 grant from UKSE's Access to Finance scheme, backed by the Government's flagship Regional Growth Fund.
The company also received support from HSBC and advice on its premises acquisition from law firm Endeavour Partnership, based in Thornaby, near Stockton.
Gareth Thomas, Icon Plastics' managing director, who bought the company in 2008, said: “We have had a difficult time with premises in recent years, so it will be a relief to be securely settled in our own factory with room for expansion.
“It has taken a huge weight off our shoulders.
“We are in a very competitive market, and moving into new markets and tailoring our service to individual customers and investing in training has been key to our growth.
“This investment is hugely important as we could not have purchased these premises without it.
“The alternative was to downsize and outsource our manufacturing abroad, but now we can secure and create jobs here.
“We have a strong management team and plan to further strengthen it by appointing a new sales manager and creating apprenticeships.
“The new sales manager will concentrate largely on developing the UK market, although we export throughout Europe and send moulded parts to China.”
Peter Taylor, UK Steel Enterprise area manager, said it was thrilled to help Icon with the next phase of its growth.
He said: “We have every confidence in Icon's future, and our aim is to improve the economies of areas affected by changes in the steel industry by supporting businesses that can create jobs and wealth.
“We are delighted our investment is keeping this impressive company firmly rooted in Teesside, enabling it to expand and create jobs and skills for the region.”
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