Up to 25 new jobs will be created as a Sunderland manufacturer embarks on a major expansion.
Expert Tooling and Automation, which was established in 2008, has grown into a multi-million pound turnover business, with more than 40 full-time employees.
Now it is set to triple its assembly space by building a 30,000 sq ft factory at Rainton Bridge, where large, complex machines will be designed, built and tested for a growing list of global customers.
The building will also house all project management, design and development staff in light, spacious offices.
“This is a major move for the company and we’re looking forward to seeing the building works get underway,” said Expert Tooling’s operations director Dave Bartell.
“Rainton Bridge is a great location for us, close to a number of automotive companies.
“We’ve been involved in all stages of the design of the new premises, which will provide all the staff with a great, purpose-built place to work.”
He added that 2014 had been a busy year for the company, which now had a healthy order book and was looking to recruit staff.
“We had 26 full time staff in 2012 but have upwards of 40 at the moment and we are still looking for people,” he said.
“We are planning to create 25 full-time jobs in the next 12 months.”
Expert Tooling, which started life with just two employees, designs and builds machines that make everything from car parts to inspection media.
The firm has won worldwide work with automotive manufacturers and tier one suppliers such as Jaguar Landrover, Nissan and Rolls Royce as customers, while also assisting companies, like GE Oil & Gas, which require bespoke automation.
In the past year, it has won a number of major contracts, including a seven-figure deal with Gestamp Tallent to supply machines making parts for Jaguar Landrover’s L550 platform, and a long-term programme of machine refurbishments for Rosti McKechnie.
Demand from Nissan has also grown tenfold since Expert Tooling opened in Sunderland.
As well as creating new job opportunities, the company has five apprentices on its books and two University of Sunderland students on paid one-year placements.
Mr Bartell added: “The length of the placement means that the students add real value during their time with us. Their enthusiasm and knowledge is very helpful, and they become really involved with the work here.”
Since the opening of its Washington office, Expert Tooling has maintained a close working relationship with Sunderland City Council’s Business Investment Team, which has provided advice and support with the latest plans.
Deputy leader of Sunderland City Council Harry Trueman said: “We are proud to have helped support Expert Tooling’s growth, and to provide the land on which it can build its new custom built plant at Rainton Bridge.
“It’s great news that it is now set to create more jobs and contribute further to the region’s economy.”