AN engineering company hopes to secure fresh customers after adding a “new dimension” to operations.

Durham Precision Engineering (DPE) has bought equipment it says will strengthen manufacturing projects.

The business, based in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham, designs and makes apparatus for the oil and gas, pharmaceutical, nuclear, automotive and aerospace sectors, which require unique and low volume goods.

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Its growth plan has been supported by financial backing from Barclays, with Peter Coates, managing director at DPE, which was founded in 1984, saying it will make a significant difference to the business and its customers.

He said such proficiency could potentially pave the way for greater agreements at the company, which employs nearly 40 staff and expects latest annual turnover to go beyond £3m.

He added: “The new lathe we have bought brings a new dimension to our business because it allows us to both turn and mill in one operation and therefore reduce lead times and costs to our clients.

“With this increased capacity and decreased lead times and costs, it will allow our business to grow organically and hopefully open doors to new clients.

“In conjunction with our aerospace approval, this should see us grow further.

“Barclays has been very supportive of the business and its growth needs over the years and by supporting the funding of this new asset, it shows their support of DPE remains strong.”

Sally-Ann Cain, Barclays’ relationship director, said the bank was pleased to be playing its own role in DPE’s evolution.

She added: “We are delighted to be able to continue to support this highly ambitious business and look forward to working with them on future plans.

“The automotive and aerospace sectors continue to see strong demand and this investment will ensure DPE is in a good position to respond to new opportunities.”