A NORTH-EAST medical testing firm says it hopes to create new jobs after a £350,000 laboratory investment.
The Honeyman Group, in Barnard Castle, County Durham, has opened new microbiological and chemical testing facilities.
Bosses say they have already created 10 new jobs and expect to take on more chemists and microbiologists this year.
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The firm has also gained approval from the UK Medicines Regulatory Authority and been granted a license to carry out work for UK and European pharmaceutical makers.
The move comes after Honeyman, which employs about 30 workers, appointed a new board of directors and management team and closed a base in Dublin to focus work in the North-East.
Tom Honeyman, the firm's managing director, said “Our analytical services team have responded extremely well to the investment and this has led to ten new jobs in Barnard Castle with more anticipated in 2014 as testing workload increases.”
The company has also expanded its training courses, many of which are backed by Teesside University.
They supported about 750 workers last year, including a number from Slovenia and Scandinavia as well as Ireland and Europe.
Employing engineers, chemists and microbiologists, Honeyman provides pharmaceutical and medical device makers with advice and solutions to improve efficiency and meet regulations.
Chairman Trevor Honeyman, who founded the company in 1991, added: “This is a significant investment and will allow us to extend our analytical services.
“It will also broaden both our target market and client base and take the business to the next level.”
The firm's history lays in high purity water systems and sterilisation processes, but it now also carries out a number of projects across the world such as control system upgrades and thermal mapping studies.
It previously unveiled its HydroGienic system, which bosses hailed as a technological breakthrough for aiding the growth of pharmaceutical companies.
The process uses a flexible hose pure water distribution system, replacing stainless steel structures, that can operate independently to each tap outlet meaning it doesn't have to be shut off while work is carried out.
It also won a contract to help protect the public from swine flu by delivering specialist training to the Health Protection Agency to support vaccine production.