A TEESSIDE firm which is the UK's largest producer of fish and chip shop fryers has secured £100,000 investment to boost its European operations.

Martyn Edwards-Frank Ford, which employs 38 workers at its 30,000sq ft Redcar factory, received the cash from UK Steel Enterprise (UKSE), a subsidiary of Tata Steel, to expand its new Omega range.

The company, which bought Frank Ford in 2005, makes three types of fish frying ranges and currently has more than £250,000 of work in its order books.

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Bosses say they will target Scandinavian markets with the new range, and hope to create five new jobs this year and double the size of its plant.

Dave Atkinson, managing director, and a former steel worker, said: “It has been a lengthy process developing the Omega, but the time and effort is really paying off now.

“It ticks all the boxes for fast food businesses, particularly at a time when energy prices are rising, and the investment came at just the right time as finding finance is difficult.

“We were delighted when UKSE were prepared to back us and we are very positive about our future.”

Simon Hamilton, UKSE regional manager, said: “Martyn Edwards-Frank Ford is a real success story for Teesside and the North, and we have every confidence they will succeed in Europe.”