A LAWNMOWER maker is creating hundreds of jobs to meet busy summer demand, The Northern Echo can reveal.

Husqvarna UK wants more than 650 staff to oversee work at its plant in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham.

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Bosses say roles, which are both permanent and temporary, will cover a number of areas, including project engineering, moulding machine maintenance, equipment assembly and forklift driving.

The company added its recruitment drive also includes line leaders, who will be responsible for supervising production teams.

Officials say they aim to fill one permanent and three temporary posts, to complement an existing team of six temporary and four full-time staff.

The influx of workers means Husqvarna will have around 870 people on site for the run up to summer, when clamour for its products traditionally rises as customers shrug off winter to tackle their gardens.

Based on Aycliffe Business Park’s Preston Road, the company, a subsidiary of Sweden’s Husqvarna Group, is known for its brands, which include Flymo, Gardena and McCulloch.

Caraline Robinson, Husqvarna UK’s manufacturing director, said the firm can make between 2,000 and 20,000 products a week owing to demand, which means its staff levels have to be flexible.

She said: “We train our temporary workers to make our products to the required high standards.

“Permanent production staff also work annualised hours, so they are working more hours per week during our busy time and less in the low season.”

Ms Robinson also said the company has strengthened its relationships with suppliers, and diversified in the automotive sector, thanks to its moulding expertise, to add to its market standing.

She added: “That is one of the areas of our success.

“Due to some components having long lead times, supplier communication and planning is vital in guaranteeing supply for our highly-seasonal business.

“In order to cover the quieter periods, we have diversified into becoming a second tier supplier to the automotive sector, helping to guarantee work in our moulding area for 12 months.”

According to its latest financial results, Husqvarna UK saw turnover increase 15 per cent to nearly £159m as it benefited from a rise in exports of its robotic mowers.

In 2010, The Northern Echo reported how the 100,000th automower had rolled off the firm's Aycliffe production line.

The business is working with Mtrec Recruitment and Training, which has offices in Aycliffe and Newcastle to fill its vacancies.