TWO North-East firms hope to create about 30 jobs in a partnership to deliver energy efficiency improvements.

Energy Friend and Whitfields Energy Solutions, both based in Durham City, have pooled their skills to help roll out the Government Green Deal and Eco programmes.

Co-owners Colin Robinson and Alex Whitfield say the partnership could create up to 30 new jobs, with surging demand for improvement schemes during the cold weather.

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The companies already work on contracts across the region for organisations such as Sunderland-based housing provider Gentoo and Durham County Council.

Mr Robinson, Energy Friend chef executive, said: “From energy advisors to teams of installers, we will be looking to employ highly-skilled local workers to deliver the demand we’re experiencing.”

Under Green Deal and Eco, customers can benefit from boiler replacements, loft, cavity and solid wall insulation as well as double glazing installation.

Mr Robinson added: “Any type of grant claim is a difficult enough process but is even more so when customers are vulnerable, simply don’t know what they’re entitled to, or even how to go about applying.

“By putting our services under one roof, we believe we will simplify the process for the customer, but will also give them the reassurance they are having their energy systems assessed and installed by reputable and long standing companies.”