Crane manufacturer Liebherr Sunderland Works has celebrated its 25th year in the city.
The company, which manufactures maritime cranes and cargo handling equipment, marked the milestone with a special event attended by Patricia Ruf, granddaughter of the company’s founder, who travelled from Switzerland to attend.
Representatives from Sunderland City Council also turned out, including deputy leader Councillor Harry Trueman and the recently appointed mayor of Sunderland, Cllr Stuart Porthouse, along with MP for Sunderland Central, Julie Elliott.
Throughout the day, the equipment manufacturer, which started production in Sunderland in 1989, offered tours of its Ayres Quay base, before an evening of celebration at the city’s Stadium of Light.
The company, which is based in the Deptford area of Sunderland, employs 186 people, many of whom are long-standing employees.
Ten of the 18 members of staff who joined the business when it opened are still working there.
Managing director Ralph Sälzer said: “We’re delighted to be celebrating this milestone occasion.
“Our move into Sunderland was a real vote of confidence in the area, and the success we have seen since is testament to the skilled workforce we have here, and the support we have had from Sunderland City Council and other local stakeholders.
“The celebrations are a way of saying thank you to our staff and all those involved in making our facility such a success story for the city.”
Cllr Trueman said: “Sunderland has such a strong industrial and maritime heritage.
“Manufacturing is running through its veins, and it’s great to see businesses like Liebherr continuing to flourish here.
“Liebherr Sunderland Works has done so much for the city, taking on apprentices and contributing to the local economy.
“We are proud they call Sunderland their home and myself and council colleagues were delighted to join them for their celebrations.”
The business, part of a family-run group headquartered in Switzerland, currently counts 29 apprentices among its workforce.
Overall, Liebherr employs more than 39,000 staff in more than 130 companies. It has an annual turnover of around €8.96n.