GT Group, in Peterlee, secures futures of 350-strong workforce

The Northern Echo: Geoff Turnbull, GT Group chairman Geoff Turnbull, GT Group chairman

A RAPIDLY growing engineering firm has strengthened the long-term futures of hundreds of North-East workers after winning £100m work.

GT Group, based in Peterlee, east Durham, has bolstered its order book with agreements to supply engine emission systems to global heavy duty vehicle makers.

The contracts mean GT Group will increase the number of engine platforms it supplies from 320,000 this year to 500,000 in 2015, and become a major provider up to 2020.

Bosses have not revealed which companies they are working with but said the firms were well-known manufacturers around the world.

They said the deals come as it experiences one of the fastest periods of growth in its 30-year history.

GT Group, which employs 350 workers, makes emission reduction control valves that are fitted to diesel engines, including marine and construction vehicles, diggers and excavators.

It has five different businesses designing and making products, including safety systems for transporting oil, gas and hazardous liquids, and special vehicle bodies for the mining industry.

Geoff Turnbull, GT Group chairman, said he was delighted the new work would secure the futures of its existing workforce, especially as it comes with the firm expecting a further 35 per cent growth in 2014.

He said: “The decisions by some of the world’s leading manufacturers to designate our technology for engine platforms is the key to advance orders in the region of £100m per year after five years.

“The engine technology is essential for trucks and heavy duty off-road vehicles in developed markets, which need to meet tough emissions criteria and it is now being adopted by all manufacturers of heavy duty diesel engines.

“Our success in achieving advance designation will ensure our products, made in the North-East, are exported all over the world.

“It is a real contribution to the regional and UK economy and to employment in the years to come.”

Mr Turnbull, who began his career as an engineering apprentice aged 15, added the success of GT Group, which also has bases in Consett and Newton Aycliffe, in County Durham, and Sunderland, would benefit the North-East's supply chain.

Earlier this year, the company, which saw 25 per cent year-on-year growth in 2013, was ranked 74th in the Sunday Times' International Track 200 table that highlights the UK's private companies with the fastest-growing overseas sales.

It was celebrated for impressive average international sales growth of 61.9 per cent with exports accounting for £14.7m of its £26m turnover in the year ending 2011, and also named as the North of England company with the fastest-growing profits in the Sunday Times' PwC Profit Track 100.

Last year, GT Group supplied heavy duty trucks for US firm Ground Force Engineering, including a 13ft high vehicle, used to service even bigger vehicles in quarries and mines with oil, water and fuel.

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