Blyth plastics company moulds itself a bright future

A PLASTICS company that has managed to quadruple staff numbers and more than double its turnover since being rescued from administration is set to create more jobs after landing £63,000 of funding.

Omega Plastics managing director Dave Crone (left) with unw corporate finance manager Mark Simpson (right)

A PLASTICS company that has managed to quadruple staff numbers and more than double its turnover since being rescued from administration is set to create more jobs after landing £63,000 of funding.

Omega Plastics, based in Blyth, Northumberland, recently added two new injection moulding machines to its factory after receiving the Grant for Business Investment (GBI) from One North East.

The firm, which was advised on the investment by corporate finance specialist unw, said it had seen many of its markets recover over recent years, particularly in the automotive sector, and that many of its customers were beginning to spend more on product development.

The company, which also ships orders to mainland Europe, is in the process of adding extra capacity at its 10,500sq ft site, and is currently in the process of recruiting seven additional workers.

The investment marks a huge turnaround for the business, which was bought out of administration by managing director Dave Crone and chairman Chris Thompson in 2006.

The pair now have their sights set on opening a second factory by the end of the year, which would focus on injection mouldings and would create around eight jobs.

The company, which also makes tooling to assist in the injection moulding process, has increased its workforce from seven to 27 since 2006, and has seen turnover grow from £700,000 to around £2m. Omega, which was relocated from Gateshead to Blyth following the buy-out, makes niche products for the defence, medical, personal hygiene and healthcare and automotive markets.

Crone said: “What this investment is going to enable us to do is increase our injection moulding capacity and invest in the machine tool area of the facility.

“Having secured the grant, we will recruit seven new people to join our team over the next three months.”

The firm, whose clients include Reckitt Benckiser, Unilever and luxury car manufacturer Aston Martin, now expects to grow its sales by between 5% and 10% by the end of March next year after picking up a number of new orders, including an order for 10,000 Lifesaver bottles – which are able to filter contaminated water into water of drinkable quality – to the Ministry of Defence in Afghanistan.

Crone said: “Our business has continued to grow because although you can get things cheaper in China, customers fear for the safety of their intellectual property in China and that’s a big concern in the product development cycle.

“Our moulding services are often used to prove a concept and make up the final stage in the design process before mass production, so it’s vital that the IP is safeguarded.”

One North East business finance manager Ken Samson said: “I am delighted we have been able to offer Omega Plastics this grant to help the firm deliver to its expanding list of blue-chip clients.

“High-growth SMEs, such as Omega, will play a very important part in the future growth of the regional and UK economies.”

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