A STAIRLIFT maker has ceased trading with all staff made redundant, The Northern Echo understands.

Meditek, based in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham, is believed to have hit the buffers.

The Echo last night attempted to speak to the company but did not receive a reply.

However, a number of people contacted the Echo in the past few days to reveal it was their understanding that the company had come to an end.

According to quotes attributed to co-founder and director Kevin Strafford-Price, the firm, which once employed around 30 people, has stopped operating.

He said: “Meditek (has) ceased trading.

"All the staff received redundancy, notice and monthly pay.

“Some staff have been with me for 20 years.

“I would like to thank the creditors who worked hard to help the company get through and customers who were loyal to the end.”

According to official Companies House documents, Mr Strafford-Price was removed as a director of the firm last week.

The Echo previously revealed how the company, formed in a Hartlepool garage in the mid-1990s by Mr Strafford-Price and Derek Nicholson, had been forced to stop searching for new workers after receiving more than 500 applications for two jobs.

It was known for selling stairlifts to customers in the UK, US, Japan and Australia, with its factory on Newton Aycliffe Business Park complemented by a base across the Atlantic in North Carolina.

The firm moved to Aycliffe from Fishburn, near Sedgefield, in 2013 to develop its models.