A SAFETY paving firm is eyeing further expansion after opening a manufacturing base to meet growing demand.

Viztek has strengthened operations at its North-East Business and Innovation Centre (BIC) site, in Sunderland.

Officials say the move has doubled revenue and could lead to new Wearside premises to allow for further growth.

They added its latest BIC expansion means the firm, which provides paving used to help visually-impaired pedestrians on paths, stairs and railway station platforms, is the only one in the UK to make, supply and install its niche product.

Chris Elliott, managing director, said the business, which employs five people and counts Network Rail, train operators and local authority highways departments as clients, is ready to advance further in the market.

Having changed operations to bring tile manufacturing from Hull to the North-East, Mr Elliott now wants Viztek to make and sell its own tile adhesive.

He said: “We have incorporated a number of unique innovations to our tiles that no one else is doing.

“Anything that can improve safety is hugely important.

“We are very hands-on designing our own ranges of tiles, and it made commercial and logistic sense to produce the tiles in Sunderland too.”

Mr Elliott praised the support shown by Sunderland City Council and the North-East BIC.

He added: “Two members of the council’s business investment team sit down with us every few months and their advice and positive approach have been a huge support to us as we’ve grown.”

Councillor Harry Trueman, Sunderland City Council’s deputy leader, praised the company’s progress, saying it was further proof of the city’s status as a strong place to do business.

He added: “Viztek is an enterprising, innovative company that has grown significantly and has an ambitious plan for expansion.

“We’re delighted it is now manufacturing its products in Sunderland, creating more jobs for the city, and we will continue to work alongside Viztek as it goes forward.”