A CAR parts maker aims to smash a 1,000-worker barrier in £30m plans to deliver next generation vehicle cameras.

ZF is bolstering production lines and creating scores of jobs at its plant in Peterlee, east Durham, to meet rising manufacturer demand for dashboard camera systems.

Bosses say the commitment will take its existing 880-strong workforce to around 950 by the end of next year.

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However, The Northern Echo understands officials hope to break the 1,000-mark as they add engineers, production workers and apprentices to their team.

The business supplies sensors that detect vehicles’ surroundings, with its Peterlee factory making around 33,000 safety cameras every week.

However, by 2019 it will begin production of a next generation system aimed at improving safety further, with officials saying around 70,000 units will be made every week from 2020.

Robin Finley, director of the Peterlee plant, said: “Cameras for cars are not like typical consumer cameras.

“They must meet high levels of functional safety and be capable of operating in various environmental conditions for many more years.

“This makes the quality, durability and reliability requirements higher.

“This is achieved with advanced, highly-automated production processes and highly-trained operators.”

Mr Finley added the business is expanding its apprentice scheme and working with local education organisations to support the changing training needs of its workforce.

He added: “The team spirit of the people and their determination to continuously improve has made Peterlee an incredible success.

“The contribution of many people has enabled our operations to grow and to meet the new opportunities that the introduction of automated vehicles presents.

“Anybody with the right attitude and commitment can progress at ZF.

“It has never been a more exciting time to join the automotive industry and we’re working on technology at the heart of the changes generating this excitement.”