A SPECIALIST engineering firm is expanding across the UK and has taken on an apprentice after a funding boost.

Intelect UK, in Middlesbrough, designs control panels, makes mechanical systems and installs electrical equipment, working with companies such as Tetley Tea, Northumbrian Water and Walkers Crisps maker PepsiCo.

The company received backing from Investment for Growth, which offers grants to firms for long-term projects and jobs.

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Bosses secured funding to help with changes on how work is won and the demand for specialist knowledge and expertise.

They said gaining the backing allowed the company to support the costs of working with an expert consultant, ensuring it has the knowledge to undertake major contracts.

The move has also allowed Intelect to invest in 22-year-old quantity surveyor Liam Steel, from Middlesbrough, to specialise in contracts.

John Thompson, director and company secretary, said: “It’s vital that funding from schemes such as Investment for Growth is there, because it makes such a difference to companies like ours, helping us to grow and take on new staff.”

Employing 175 workers, Intelect was founded 17 years ago and has sister companies in Teesside, Grimsby and Leicester.

Karen Jones, Investment for Growth adviser, added: “This is a really specific and crucial project for Intelect UK moving forward and is a fantastic example of how Investment for Growth can support both sector and business demand.”