AN industrial coatings firm has created jobs after securing a major offshore energy deal.

Barrier Group has taken on more than 20 workers thanks to a contract with a regional engineering company.

The Wallsend-based firm will work on the EnQuest Producer, a 249-metre floating production, storage and offloading vessel.

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Bosses say 80 workers are providing specialist coatings for the project, as well as 1,500 tonnes of scaffolding and insulation and architectural work, with new staff taken on to help carry out the contract.

Barrier was awarded the contract by fellow Wallsend company OGN Group, which is carrying out fabrication services on the vessel, creating about 600 jobs and supporting 250 supply chain posts.

When the work is complete, the EnQuest will be deployed to the Alma Galia field in the North Sea.

Founded in 1975, Barrier Group specialises in corrosion and fire protection across offshore, petrochemical and construction projects, employing 250 workers at Willington Quay.

Robert Bowles, Barrier managing director, said: “This project is proof positive of the wider benefits to the North-East supply chain when a company such as OGN wins a significant contract.

“This region has an excellent supply chain, which we are proud to be part of, which OGN can rely on to deliver high quality products and services.

“The impact of bringing the EnQuest Producer to the region is tremendous, particularly in terms of enabling the chain to create new employment and I am proud it has allowed us to increase our workforce.”

Earlier this week, OGN revealed a multi-million pound North Sea gas contract, which will support 500 jobs.

The firm will take on about 150 staff to work on an 800-tonne processor, which will be attached to an existing platform in the Alder field, off the coast of Scotland.

It will make and precommission the module, incorporating key process equipment to separate fluids and gas extracted from below the seabed.