Aquaseal Rubber has unveiled plans to expand and develop after securing and delivering its biggest ever contract.
The Longbenton-based company has strengthened its management structure in a bid to capitalise on emerging business opportunities, appointing Doug Heslop as production manager.
Heslop, who has wide experience in the manufacturing sector, will deal with the day-to-day running of the business’s production, allowing managing director Jason Armstrong to concentrate on business development.
The family-run firm, which has been in operation for 42 years, manufacturing rubber coatings, hoses and seals for the marine, defence, automotive, agricultural and food sectors.
Recently it has been working on its largest ever contract – making rubber linings for steel guides used in the manufacture of oil platforms by OGN.
Managing director Jason Armstrong, who runs the business with his father Eddie Armstrong, aims to win more lucrative contracts for the firm by travelling to trade shows and working on other initiatives to attract more work to Aquaseal Rubber, which employs 12 and is recruiting additional staff.
The growth plans follows Barrier Group Ltd acquiring a 49% stake in Aquaseal Rubber, with the aim of helping expand the business’s presence in wider markets.
Jason said: “We are determined to continue building on our success, which has included winning the most substantial order in the company’s 40-plus year history.
“Appointing a factory manager is a significant move as it will allow me to concentrate on business development.
“We also are about to take on an additional manufacturing worker and hope that further recruitment will take place in the coming months.”
Employing some 300 people, Barrier Group was formed in 1975 to carry out painting of structures to be installed as part of the growing North Sea oil industry and it has gone on to complete more than 200 major contracts with major oil companies including BP, Esso and Shell.
Having expanded its operations beyond the oil sector, providing protection solutions across the aerospace, marine and offshore renewables energy sectors, buying the Aquaseal stake means the firm was given scope to expand further into new markets.
Robert Bowles, chairman of Barrier Group, added: “We knew when we acquired a stake in Aquaseal Rubber that it was a company with a strong history and an excellent reputation for quality and service.
“Its continuing success and business development plans reinforces the faith we have in Aquaseal Rubber’s future.”