A growing North East company that specialises in lift and escalator services is to create new jobs as it opens an office in Gateshead as part of ambitious growth plans.
The Stockton-headquartered Pickerings Lifts will likely take on around eight more engineers, as well as other staff, after the facility opens within the next fortnight.
The move is part of a five-year growth strategy launched in 2011, when the company pledged to double turnover from £20m to £40m.
It has already hit £36m and hopes are high the new office supports its range of business streams while helping the firm move closer to its customers.
Sales and marking director Kirk Lawson said: “We have got a lot of major clients in this areas, including lots of retailers.
“Our headquarters are fairly local, but we have a growing portfolio of clients in the North East and knew we had to take on more staff.”
Managing director Ian Bowers added: “Our further investment within the North East is testament to our commitment to not forget where the success of Pickerings Lifts first began.
“We started life as a pulley, block and chain maker in 1854 and we’ve been fortunate enough to grow as both a national business of eleven regional offices and an industry innovator through building our service offering and diversifying.
“Our continued expansion within Gateshead highlights the value we place upon the area’s skilled work force and also the clients we represent both in the town and across the region.
“Our priority has always been to offer a bespoke local service which is delivered by people on our clients’ doorsteps and regardless of our exceptional growth this remains our focus.”
Pickerings Lifts is the largest independent lift manufacturer in the UK and provides national coverage from a network of eleven offices across the country.
It has a range of business strands, including lift and access products, lift maintenance and repair, escalators, loading systems, mobility maintenance and repair, lift regeneration and the newly launched heating and cooling services. In the past 18 months, the company has boosted staff numbers from around 300 to just over 360 and has got through the recession successfully.
Lawson said: “We are big enough to weather the storms in the economic climate, but small enough to change with those and capitalise on opportunities.
“Typically, when construction is hit and people stop building, everything dries up, but recession can have the opposite effect when it comes to the maintenance, repair and modernisation of lifts.
“People still need them to be working.”
He added that expansion plans continued to progress well.
“We still have a massive focus on profit and our other focus is to remain independent, which is something of which we are proud,” he said.