A FAMILY-RUN metal recycling firm has created jobs and invested in what it says is a county-wide first to put itself at the vanguard of the industry.

J Denham Metals has bought and installed a shearing machine to improve operations at its base in Bishop Auckland.

Bosses say the apparatus is the largest of its type operating in the county, adding it will increase work and ensure recycling is carried out quicker and in a more environmentally- friendly way.

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Owner John Denham, who runs the company with father Joe, said the outlay will put the firm at the forefront of the industry.

He also confirmed additional staff have been recruited to accommodate its expansion, adding plans are in place for further spending over the coming months.

He said: “The purchase and installation of this machine is part of our continuing improvement policy and the investment gives us the ability to keep up with the increased demand for our recycling services in the region.

“Demand for the volume and quality of our materials has been increasing rapidly and with the new shear operational, we can process large quantities of ferrous and non-ferrous scrap metals more efficiently. 

“They will be loaded into 20ft containers for export via regional port facilities or in bulk vessels via the Redcar Bulk Terminal in Teesside.”

The investment marks another chapter in the progress of J Denham, which has operated across the North-East for more than 50 years and runs a second site in Wingate, near Peterlee, east Durham, having previously bolstered its bases to increase exports.

At the time, officials said that commitment would mean the business would have the capacity to load up to 200 containers of metals every week for distribution to countries including Spain, India and Turkey.