A CONSTRUCTION firm is creating new jobs after a £900,000 investment to strengthen its civil engineering division.

Owen Pugh GDC, a subsidiary of the Owen Pugh Group, has moved into a depot in Blaydon, North Tyneside.

Bosses say the three-acre base will allow its GDC business, which carries out drainage, flood alleviation and regeneration work for local authorities and water utility firms, to take on six workers in the early part of 2014.

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They move will also enable its HCS Drain Services division, based in Stockton, to create a new hub, aimed at maintaining and attracting further work across Tyneside and Northumberland.

Last year, Owen Pugh's construction and civil engineering business secured a £2.3m deal to build an ash processing plant at recycling firm Sita UK's Haverton Hill site, near Stockton, which will handle up to 200,000 tonnes of ash every year.

John Dickson, Owen Pugh Group chairman, who has pressed the Government to release cash to help civil engineering firms start building projects, says the depot move will allow its GDC division to grow and meet projected £13m turnover targets this year.

He said: “The GDC arm had outgrown its existing premises so we looked into a number of options, including the extension and refurbishment of existing facilities.

“However, that didn’t offer a long-term solution that satisfied our growth plans.

“The depot will provide GDC with increased space for organising and servicing vehicles and their crews, more room for plant and equipment, and more space for expanding the range and quantity of parts and materials held in stock.

“There is also additional office space available to support the growth of engineering and project management teams.”

Mr Dickson added there were also plans to transfer its construction team, based at its headquarters in Dudley, Northumberland, to the new site, which was previously owned by building materials supplier Burdens.

The deal for the Blaydon depot was supported by a £750,000 finance package from HSBC’s North-East corporate team.

Andy Parker, HSBC senior corporate banking manager, said: “Owen Pugh GDC is a great business with a highly-experienced management team, and this finance will help it achieve further growth.”

The investment comes after the Owen Pugh Group, which employs more than 360 workers, spent £750,000 in November on new excavators and shovel loaders that will be used at its aggregate base in Marsden Quarry, South Tyneside.

It also revealed in November it had increased turnover to about £23m, with operating profits falling to £923,752 between April 2012 and March 2013 due to the stagnant construction sector and bad weather affecting work.