HUNDREDS of new, high-quality jobs could be created as a technology company expands its Teesside operations.

Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies has applied for planning permission to expand its manufacturing facilities at its Billingham site, with new laboratories and office space.

It is part of multi-million pound expansion plans at the company's Bio-Campus.

The plans were welcomed by Stockton North MP Alex Cunningham, who said that the expansion would create new, good-quality and well-paid jobs.

It will also see an unused and overgrown piece of land on Belasis Avenue being brought back to use.

The area was once the site of the ICI's former Billingham House, which was allowed to fall into disrepair by private landlords, and was the subject of a lengthy legal battle by Stockton Borough Council to demolish it, which finally went ahead in 2012.

The cleared site was bought by Fujifilm in 2014 to advance its expansion plans.

Mr Cunningham said: "I’m delighted to see that Fujifilm have decided to expand their Billingham site.

"This is a sure sign of confidence in the potential of Stockton and the wider Tees Valley as a place for businesses to grow – and one that I will be wholeheartedly supporting.

“The expansion of Fujifilm will not only create more well-paid jobs for our area, but also see the tidying up of a site that has been a mess for a long time.

"I hope the Planning Committee will look favourably on their plans."

It is hoped Fujifilm's new office block would be finished by next year, as part of the first phase of its expansion, to help meet increased demand, and house more members of staff.

The three-storey office block will include a cafe, meeting rooms, and a new car park for staff, as part of the first phase.

Phase two would include two new laboratories and manufacturing facilities.

The Tees Valley Combined Authority gave Fujifilm £7m last year to help towards the project.

And up to 50 jobs, as well as a £4m per year boost to the region's economy, are expected to be among the benefits from the first phase, with up to 200 more jobs from the second phase.

Stockton Borough Council's planning committee is due to meet to discuss the plans before the end of November.

Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies provides development and manufacturing services to the global biotechnology sector.