A QUEEN’S Award-winning hearing aid battery maker has invested in equipment to maintain its growth.

Rayovac, which exports millions of batteries to more than 85 countries, has unveiled a new line to improve packaging.

The firm, in Washington, Wearside, has also continued its recruitment drive and now employs more than 200 workers.

The company, a division of Spectrum Brands UK, previously won Queen’s Awards for enterprise and innovation.

Its growth was marked in a visit by Mayor of Sunderland, Councillor Stuart Porthouse.

He said: “Sunderland is home to some of the region’s most successful manufacturing companies.

“It’s most inspiring to see how the company’s continued growth of its export market is bringing opportunities back to the North-East in terms of job creation and continued investment.”

Glen Rutherford, Rayovac general manager, added: “Our strength is our long-standing history of innovation with more than a century dedicated to pioneering new technology.

“We are able to continually strengthen and make the world’s leading range of high quality hearing aid batteries in Washington and at our sister plant in the US.

“We’re looking forward to an exciting future.”