Jobs boost as Pragmatic unveils Durham expansion

An electronics firm behind next generation circuits has revealed plans to create more than 100 jobs in a near £70 million expansion.

PragmatIC Semiconductor is building a factory in Meadowfield, near Durham City.

Bosses say the site, dubbed PragmatIC Park, will deliver around 125 new posts – doubling the company’s existing workforce to about 250 by December – and ramp up circuit production into the billions.

Work is now underway to fit out the base and install new production equipment, with operations expected to begin next year.

The Meadowfield plant will join PragmatIC’s existing factory on NETPark, in Sedgefield, County Durham, with chief executive Scott White hailing the expansion as a “clear commitment to bring innovative technology, high-value manufacturing and skilled jobs to the North East”.

As thin as a human hair, PragmatIC’s circuits are used to monitor a range of goods, from consumer items to pharmaceutical products, with live information relayed to smart devices.

They are also used in packaging and documentation to improve security and identification. Scott said: “As well as providing an ideal home, we will also be inviting selected ecosystem partners to work with us to create a centre of excellence for flexible semiconductor design and integration.”

The firm’s growth plans come after it secured nearly £70 million investment, which included £3.8 million from packaging firm Amcor.

PragmatIC semiconductor

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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.

Steve Clements, - Managing Director, aXenic

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.

Dr Arnab Basu, - CEO, Kromek

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.

Ken Williamson, - COO, PragmatIC Printing

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.

Dr Jon Helliwell, - Director of Printable Electronics, CPI

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.

Stuart Wilson, - CEO, Ascarii

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