BOSSES behind a £30m fish food plant have extended their business’ North-East presence - just months after arriving in the region.

Calysta has taken an extra 2,400sq ft at the Wilton Centre to accelerate work on its FeedKind-branded protein.

A fish and animal feed ingredient, officials say FeedKind will help cut the salmon farming industry’s dependence on fishmeal and reduce commercial overfishing.

The business’ Wilton plant, based near Redcar, only opened last year, but Graham Aylen, managing director of Calysta UK, said the site’s facilities made extending its presence a simple decision.

Revealing the company now occupies more than 29,000sq ft, which includes laboratories and offices, Mr Aylen said: “The Wilton Centre provides utilities and infrastructure on a shared resource basis, which enable the company to focus on its core activities.

“This, coupled with the benefits of being part of a process industry cluster, convinced us to choose the Wilton Centre in the first place and now to expand there.”

The commitment of Calysta, which employs 15 staff at the Wilton Centre, represents another fillip for site bosses.

It was revealed last week that civil and highways design consultancy Lynas Engineers has taken further space at the hub, with its expansion following decisions by the Centre for Process Innovation (CPI) and petrochemical firm Sabic to take fresh longterm leases at the base.

Electrical safety training provider The Faraday Training Group and Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies have also signed new leases.

Steve Duffield, site director, said: “We are delighted Calysta has committed to more space for its worldbeating, highly innovative process.

“It benefits, as do many of our tenants, from being located on the same complex as CPI and the North-East Process Industry Cluster.

“Its success is a great example of what can be achieved by all the engineering and manufacturing expertise we have on Teesside.”

According to Calysta, its Wilton plant has the potential to produce hundreds of tonnes of FeedKind every year, with officials revealing in May it had already made in excess of four tonnes for customers in Europe, Asia, the US, Japan and Australia.

Speaking to The Northern Echo, Alan Shaw, president and chief executive, said it has already made a big impression.

Mr Shaw, a former ICI Teesside worker, said: “This is groundbreaking technology and a shot in the arm for Teesside.

“It could make people sit up and take notice; if we are able to do this here, maybe other high-tech companies will say the same.

“Over time, Teesside could become a mini bio-technology cluster.

“You never know; success leads to success.”