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Pickerings Lifts, in Stockton, aims to create new jobs in heating division
A 159-YEAR-OLD lift company entrenched in North-East manufacturing history says it hopes to create new jobs as it pushes ahead with expansion plans.
Stockton-based Pickerings Lifts, the UK's largest independent lift maker, has added a maintenance division to its business to supply heating, ventilation and air conditioning services.
The move has already created 12 new positions, and Pickerings, established as a pulley, block and chain maker the same year Britain went to war in the Crimea, says it hopes to double the workforce in the next 18 months.
The independent company, which has remained in private hands since its foundation in 1854, makes specialist passenger, goods and access lifts, escalators and loading systems, and has seen turnover increase from about £23m to more than £30m.
It employs about 320 workers in seven UK offices, including 110 in the North-East, and has previously carried out projects for high street retailers Boots and Wilkinsons as well as London's O2 Arena and the National Railway Museum, in York.
Kirk Lawson, Pickerings' sales and marketing director, said the heating and ventilation move was a natural progression of the business.
He said: “It is something that we have been in for quite a while, so it made sense to bring it into the parent company.
“We have a good strategy in place across the whole business and are already seeing the growth, reflected in the turnover.
“It is a real success story in today's climate, and we are also recruiting too, which reflects our momentum.”
The new division will be led by Gareth Chappells, who has been appointed operations manager.
Mr Chappells said: “We are driven by a team of highly experienced engineers, who are true specialists in the industry.
“A lot of contractors only operate in one discipline but our engineers can work across both the heating and cooling sectors.”
Last year, Pickering secured a new national contract with health club LA Fitness to provide maintenance services on the firm's 31 lifts in health clubs across the country.
It has also serviced lifts for Stockton Borough Council, Middlesbrough Council and Cleveland Police.
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