NORTH-EAST manufacturing was given a further boost today with the opening of two new multi-million pound facilities, creating 130 jobs and safeguarding another 150 posts, following a £2.9m investment from the Government’s Regional Growth Fund.

Business Minister Michael Fallon opened the refurbished Tharsus site, in Blyth in South Northumberland, which was awarded a grant of £690,000, before visiting steel rope manufacturer Brindon International, which secured £2.2m towards a new £30m state-of-the-art facility in Newcastle.

Tharsus has made a £3m investment in new technology and equipment which will help the company improve its advanced manufacturing capability and overseas orders.

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The firm has already won a contract for the redesign and manufacture of a powerful washer unit, secured following a highly competitive global procurement process. The high-powered parts washer cleans and de-greases with high-level precision and is used by Formula 1 teams Mercedes F1, Red Bull Racing and McLaren along with Network Rail and Airbus. On his visit, Mr Fallon was given a site tour of the production floor to meet staff, including several young apprentices pursuing a career in engineering.

He then went on to visit Bridon International, a global technology leader in the manufacture of steel wire and fibre rope, awarded £2.2m from the Regional Growth Fund towards constructing a £30m plant at Neptune Quay in Newcastle.

The facility will produce the largest and most complex ropes in the world, creating 50 jobs and safeguarding another 150 jobs at the company’s nearby Willington Quay facility.

Mr Fallon said: “This is a big day for the North-East. The Regional Growth Fund is playing a pivotal role in supporting British manufacturing. Government support for Tharsus and Bridon in the North-East has given both firms the confidence they need to invest, hire skilled staff and grow.

“Not only are both projects creating much needed jobs for the area but the multiplier effect should not be underestimated in attracting investment and new business to the North East. Seeing both of these projects come to completion is very encouraging and I wish Tharsus and Bridon every success for the future.”