ONE of the region's longest established plant-hire firms hopes to rapidly expand.

Mechplant (North East), a crane-hire and platform hoist specialist, has secured a loan from Yorkshire Bank to help it buy new machines including a 40 Tonne Terex Demag AC-40 mobile crane.

More purchases are planned for the final quarter of this year, so the company can take on a greater number of contracts across the region and increase its offer to a broad range of customers from North Yorkshire to the Scottish Borders.

The company is also hiring two new permanent staff, seeking two crane drivers in the Port of Tyne– growing its roster which includes five subcontractors in supervisory and operational roles to 22.

Established in 2002, and now based in South Shields, Mechplant helps businesses transport people and materials effectively on construction projects from cathedrals and castles to contemporary new builds and housing.

The deal with Yorkshire Bank follows a recent management buyout, completed earlier this year at Mechplant, in which the business’ directors Brian Wray and Stephen Mackinson bought the specialist plant-hire division from holding company Esh Group.

Mr Mackinson said: “We have worked hard to develop both of our niche product offerings simultaneously, and the Bank’s assistance will enable us to enhance these."