A SHIP supplier, which sends goods to the Falklands Islands and the Antarctic, is looking to create jobs after moving to a new factory.

Third generation Gibbons International has bought a 1.3-acre site in Washington, Wearside.

The 93-year-old company supplies food and tools to vessels, with meats processed and cut in the firm’s own plant, and has a long-standing deal with ferry operator DFDS, which runs services from Newcastle to Amsterdam.

It also sends goods to the Falkland Islands and duty-free stores at British bases in the Antarctic.

Bosses say its move from Sunderland to Washington will allow them to increase staff levels from 12 to 17 in the next year, and build on work across European and Scandinavian ports and the offshore energy industry.

Ian Gibbons, chief executive, said: “We have built up an enviable reputation and name in the ship supply sector for quality and service.

“Our larger premises, which are close to the A1, give us more flexibility to build on the growth in the offshore wind turbine industry.”

As well as its Falklands and Antarctic work, the firm has also supported MPI Offshore, which has a base in Stokesley, North Yorkshire, and transported, lifted and installed parts for the Teesside wind farm, off the coast of Redcar.

Liam Duggan, from MPI, added: “Gibbons delivered high levels of service and quality while we were in North-East ports.

“Last year, it gave us those same standards when delivering to ports in France, the Netherlands, Germany and Denmark, and I’m confident its move will only improve the impressive way the firm tackles any challenges.”

Gibbons’ move was supported by law firm Swinburne Maddison, which is based on the outskirts of Durham City, and funding from Barclays.