A BUILDING material manufacturer, whose product was used to renovate a famous North-East 12th century castle, says it hopes to create new jobs and target international markets after receiving significant investment.

Limeco Ltd, based in Cotherstone, near Barnard Castle, County Durham, has developed a carbon dioxide-absorbing lime-based product for mortars and renders on masonry work.

The HyperLime material reduces damp and condensation damage in buildings, and can be used instead of cement and gypsum on domestic and commercial projects.

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The company has now received an undisclosed six-figure sum from NEL Fund Managers' Finance for Business North-East Growth Fund to expand the product into overseas markets, which Dr Robin Gibson, LimeCo Ltd's managing director, hopes will allow it to take on workers in research and development, sales and administration roles.

A version of the product was used in plastering work on the renovation of Scargill Castle, near Barnard Castle, which featured on Tony Robinson's Channel Four archaeological programme, Time Team, in 2010, and was used by the Home Guard for target practice during the Second World War.

Dr Gibson, who developed HyperLime over a five-year period, says the material is capable of absorbing more than 70 per cent of the carbon dioxide used during its manufacture in its first year of use, and emits about 75 per cent less carbon dioxide than cement and gypsum.

He said: “The need for this sort of material is ubiquitous around the world, which is why we’re focusing on overseas markets, and are confident the demand will be considerable.

“HyperLime was developed with sustainability specifically in mind, and with far lower environmental impact than traditional competitors, our products can be used in a wide range and size of construction projects, combining ease of use for builders and allowing buildings to flex and breathe as conditions require.

“We wanted to find an investment partner that fully understood our ambitions and needs, and NEL’s support will allow us to move forward at a far greater pace.”

Jane Siddle, NEL Fund Managers' investment executive, said she was impressed by Dr Gibson's vision.

She said: “The management team has very specific and detailed plans and the resources provided by this investment will now allow these plans to be realised.”