County Durham's Filtronic Broadband secures 85 jobs in NETPark move

Electronic manufacturer Filtronic has secured 85 jobs for the region through an expansion of its base at NETPark, the North East Technology Park

(L-R) Dr Simon Goon MD of Business Durham with Alan Needle CEO Filtronic Broadband Ltd
(L-R) Dr Simon Goon MD of Business Durham with Alan Needle CEO Filtronic Broadband Ltd

Electronic manufacturer Filtronic has secured 85 jobs for the region through an expansion of its base at NETPark, the North East Technology Park.

The business, which designs and manufactures microwave electronic products, has established a centre of excellence at its new base after moving from its previous site at Newton Aycliffe.

The firm’s new facilities include a laboratory, clean room, office space and new production suite, and comes weeks after the firm announced strong results for the first half of the financial year.

The move to NETPark was supported by Business Durham, who recognise the new facility as affirmation of the park as a world class location for science and technology companies.

Alan Needle, chief executive officer of Filtronic Broadband, said: “We received excellent support from Business Durham and they were instrumental in our decision to move to NETPark. We now have a centre of excellence which will be of great benefit to all our customers.”

Dr Simon Goon, managing director of Business Durham, said “This is a double boost for the region as we have helped safeguard 85 jobs as well as expand the burgeoning technology and innovation cluster at NETPark.

“This move rubber stamps the growing reputation of NETPark as a place with first class facilities.

Filtronic recorded revenues of £20.1m for the six months to November 30 2013, a significant lift on the £16.4m posted for the same time period in 2012.

The firm’s wireless division also grew by 39%, to £16.5m though its broadband arm saw sales fall from £4.5m to £3.6m.

However, having moved the broadband business from the former RFMD factory the company said they expect the division to make progress when new products take hold.

The growth of smartphones – which make up 69% of all the UK’s devices – and uptake of 4G will also encourage growth.

Howard Ford chairman, said: “The rollout of 4G/LTE networks is still in its early stages. The ability of consumers to enjoy 4G applications has become a key differentiating parameter for operators.

“This requirement will drive ongoing infrastructure investment by adding new frequency bands and increasing site density.”

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