The major success of Darchem Engineering in Stillington, Stockton-on-Tees, was celebrated with a visit by Sir Paul Nicholson, Lord Lieutenant of County Durham.
Sir Paul toured the facility which is currently investing over £8million in its manufacturing base and heard at first hand details of the new 57,000 sq ft factory being built on brownfield land near to the existing premises.
Graham Payne, Managing Director of Darchem Engineering, said: "We are delighted to host the visit of the Lord Lieutenant to our region, and to our company. We feel that this is recognition of the investment we have made over recent years in our business and in the local area.
"Over the last three years, Darchem has invested £8m in new machines and equipment, which has led directly to an increase in orders and additional jobs, taking the Stillington workforce to 650. In July, we announced a further £8m investment, creating 86 new highly skilled jobs. Stockton-on-Tees is an excellent place from which to do business, and we are looking forward to a period of continued growth and expansion."
Darchem, which has been on the Stillington site since 1954, has a substantial order book from the aerospace market with increasing demand from the Far and Middle East’s growing aeroplane fleets. The European and USA markets are also an important sector to the company and for this client base it is currently using its expertise to help develop more fuel efficient aircraft.
The company also has a proud history of developing apprentices and Sir Paul heard the details of the plans to recruit a further 15 - 20 in addition to the current 50 employees who started their careers in that role.
The Lord Lieutenant also visited the newly refurbished Preston Park Museum and Grounds, the Globe Theatre, Stockton Town Centre and the North Shore development in Stockton Borough.
Councillor Bob Cook, Leader of Stockton Council, who used to work for Darchem, said: "Darchem is a fantastic company with a first class track record and it was an honour for us, as a Local Authority, to help Sir Paul learn more about their business and the other major projects we are delivering with our partners. Our investment all over the Borough is creating an outstanding place to operate a business, live and spend leisure time."