Chirton Engineering dispel oil and gas doom and gloom with job creation

North Tyneside manufacturers say a diversification strategy has helped them maintain growth despite pressures from low oil prices

Paul Stewart, managing director of Chirton Engineering
Paul Stewart, managing director of Chirton Engineering

Precision component manufacturers Chirton Engineering Ltd have created eight new jobs in the last week, and say life in the oil and gas supply chain is not all doom and gloom.

The North Shields-based firm thanks a diversification strategy adopted in the face of 2008’s global economic crash as the motor behind growth at a time when regional counterparts are struggling.

Chirton has recently taken on five new machinists, along with support staff, on the back of a £1.3m investment in machinery.

The firm has been successful in attracting workers back to the North East from the likes of Aberdeen and Norway.

Business development manager, Michael Morris, said demand for safety components in the oil and gas industry posed a fertile market which offset the downturn in work associated with oil exploration activity.

He said: “The price of oil has been splashed across the news on a daily basis for some time. It’s been taking its toll on the industry. We’ve seen that in regional competitors who’ve been forced to make redundancies or reduce hours.

“But we’re keen for people to know that it’s not all doom and gloom — and our hiring of eight workers in the last week just goes to demonstrate that.

“The fact that we can bring workers back from markets such as Aberdeen and Norway shows that you don’t have to leave the North East to seek top quality work.”

Mr Morris said the firm had been reinvigorated following last year’s acquisition by Cumbrian group Carr’s Milling Industries, and a move into bigger premises on the Tyne Tunnel Trading Estate.

He added: “The acquisition has been fantastic for us, and we refer to it as like having a big brother. It was just what we needed to give our guys the faith that we could ride any dip in work, and plan for the future.

“Carr’s have been excellent. The deal meant they bought Paul’s (Paul Stewart, Chirton founder) shares but didn’t want to put anyone into the business. They could see we had a successful formula and didn’t want to fix something that wasn’t broken.”

Journalists

David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer