NETPark based tech manufacturer secures £150,000 capital grant to support expansion plans
Filtronic has received a grant of £150,000 to contribute towards its expansion project which will accelerate growth and increase its workforce.
The firm, which operates from NETPark in Sedgefield, was awarded the capital grant from the County Durham Growth Fund and is using the money to help bolster the company’s manufacturing and testing facilities as well as create up to 36 new jobs.
Filtronic, which designs and manufactures advanced RF products and solutions for critical communications markets, has invested £1m in its expansion project. The investment, supported by the County Durham Growth Fund, will allow the company to increase its capacity significantly and win contracts with other customers, leading to accelerated growth.
Filtronic Chief Financial Officer, Michael Tyerman, said: “The way we communicate is changing dramatically and with the increased growth in traffic expected from 5G, network capacity has to be improved.
“In order to address this challenge, we have invested significant R&D activity in developing a number of E-band products which can deliver high performance at a competitive cost, which have understandably attracted interest from a number of potential new customers.
“Now, thanks to our own capital investment and the fantastic support we’ve had from the County Durham Growth Fund, we have been able to expand our manufacturing and testing facilities, allowing us to produce in larger quantities which will enable us to win work with other companies, accelerating our plans for growth.”
The County Durham Growth Fund, overseen by Business Durham, the economic development arm of Durham County Council, is a £8.9m investment scheme providing funding to small and medium sized businesses in County Durham to accelerate their growth.
Sarah Slaven, Interim Managing Director of Business Durham, said: “The support we have given to Filtronic has not only led to the creation of new jobs and significant expansion at the company’s NETPark facility, but also demonstrates the diversity of the fund to support companies across a broad range of sectors in our area.”
Cllr Carl Marshall, Durham County Council’s cabinet member for economic regeneration, said: “We are pleased to be able to support Filtronic in expanding its enterprises, allowing it to accelerate its plans for growth, keep business in County Durham, and create new jobs for the region’s people. This investment also supports our long-term ambition as a council, which is to preserve a thriving environment for businesses to grow while creating and safeguarding more and better jobs.”
The fund is being delivered in partnership with UMi, which has a dedicated team of advisors ready to help with initial eligibility checks and funding applications. All successful grants applications are appraised by UNW LLP, an independent firm of chartered accountants and business advisers. The funding has been secured from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020.
Simon Allen, Investment Centre Director at UMi, said: “Filtronic is a fast-growing, hugely ambitious company which, thanks to the investment committed by the County Durham Growth Fund, has been able to roll out expansion plans which will cement its continued growth in County Durham for many years to come.”
John Healey, Corporate Finance Partner at UNW LLP, said: “It is encouraging to see an innovative technology company be supported by the County Durham Growth Fund to create new jobs and increase its capacity.”
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The quality of the facilities at NETPark and the attitude of staff is first class. It has a really dynamic, innovative atmosphere.
CPI has developed a specialist offering to support SMEs looking to develop their printable electronics applications and our partnership with Business Durham has been instrumental in attracting several SMEs to locate here in the region.
It fits perfectly for us that we’re surrounded by like-minded companies at NETPark. There are a number of highly skilled people in the area who can help us grow our business. The facilities and services offered by NETPark are first class, they make office life simple and engaging.
We initially came because of the printable electronics centre but access to a highly skilled semi conductor workforce in the North East has been a key factor in us staying and growing here, as well as the value for money office space and the access to funding.
The proximity to the universities and the infrastructure are very important factors. Ultimately having a presence in Europe is very valuable to us and we intend to stay at NETPark for many years to come.
Access to quality facilities was one of the main drivers for deciding to locate the business at the NETPark. We have been able to use this as a launch pad to link into support from CPI and world-class expertise from Durham University.