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Pig firm's job hopes in expansion
6:00am Wednesday 9th July 2014 in Business
A FIRM behind pipe cleaning tools is creating jobs after moving into a larger factory to enhance its global reputation.
InPipe Products, in Brompton on Swale, near Catterick, makes machines, known as pigs, which remove debris from offshore energy pipes.
The company, previously based in nearby Colburn, says it can carry out more work and testing at its new plant.
Bosses say the firm’s growth has allowed its workforce to rise from 67 to 77 staff, with plans in place to recruit further moulding technicians.
It has also opened global headquarters in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham, to target increased sales and develop products, including pig-tracking equipment.
The factory move, which features a specialist area for customers to test pigs on pipes, comes after the company last year revealed £500,000 investment, which could eventually generate up to 30 posts.
Simon Bell, InPipe Products’ managing director, told The Northern Echo it was benefiting from the increased space as it takes advantage of strong industry demand.
He said: “The old site has been bulldozed and is a much better place for us to work.
“We previously operated from two factories and a warehouse, but that wasn’t allowing us to grow as we wanted.
“Our office in Newton Aycliffe looks after accounts and marketing, and we have started to see sales come through from that too.”
The company was acquired by staff in a management buyout in 2011, which triggered the plans to move premises.
Mr Bell said the decision had been vindicated as it continues to attract interest from abroad.
He added: “The business is growing and we want to get it out to the Middle-East.
“We have some guys coming over from the United Arab Emirates and have some coming from Australia too, to see what we do.
“The industry is buoyant and we export 90 per cent of our turnover.
“The energy sector is very incestuous and sees the North-East as an area for technical solutions.
“Companies are working on projects for years, and they always forget the pigs until the end.
“It means they want things yesterday, but we are in a good position to quickly provide what they want.”