Expansion for D&S Services gives empty Peterlee factory a new lease of life

County Durham firm D&S Services is expanding its operations with the acquisition of the former Suncrest Surrounds site.

D&S Services' operations director Mark Kelly, technical director Andrew Gaskins, production manager Steve Bassett and commercial director Alastair Tennant
D&S Services' operations director Mark Kelly, technical director Andrew Gaskins, production manager Steve Bassett and commercial director Alastair Tennant

A fabrication firm is set to give an empty factory a new lease of life when it reopens the facility for business this summer.

D&S Services is expanding after acquiring a 46,000sqft factory on South West Industrial Estate in Peterlee, a site which has lain empty for six years following the collapse of Suncrest Surrounds, resulting in the loss of 105 jobs.

Newton Aycliffe-based D&S Services, which employs 28 staff, is moving into the unit in a £360,000 expansion which is hoped will double the firm’s turnover to £4m over the next two years, while also creating at least 15 new jobs.

Formed in 2004, the business has outgrown its current 10,000sqft premises on Aycliffe Business Park, but it will retain that base, meaning overall it more than quadruple its floor space, giving it more than enough room for realise potential future growth.

D&S Services is a multi-disciplined service supplier who delivers metal fabrication and engineering services nationally, and operates five sub-brands in D&S Express, D&S Material Handling, D&S Fabrication, D&S Coating and D&S Agricultural.

Nine new workers have joined the company in the last six months, increasing staff numbers from 19 to 28 to deal with a surge in work at its Aycliffe site.

Commercial director Alastair Tennant said: “It’s good news for Newton Aycliffe because we’re looking to increase operations and take on more staff there, and it’s great news for Peterlee because we’re bringing an old factory back to life which has been empty for the last six years.

“The intention is to grow what we do in Aycliffe as well as establish and grow the new Peterlee operation.

“We also have a lot of clients in the Peterlee and Wearside area and space constraints meant we were outgrowing our site at Aycliffe, so it made sense to look for additional space in another part of the North East and Peterlee is an ideal location for us.

“It will enable us to realise some major growth. We’ve got potential contracts on the Material Handling side that we want to take advantage of, but which we’re not able to take on due to space constraints.

“D&S Material Handling has grown significantly over the last 12 months and we can see a lot of future growth in the business.

“It’s a major development for the company. We’re spending £180,000 on new machinery and around the same on getting the new site to where we want it to be, so it’s a substantial investment.”

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