A BISHOP Auckland engineering firm has saved one of Bonds’ foundries from having its assets stripped.

Teescraft was originally unsuccessful in its bid to acquire the 150-year-old steel firm’s factory in Crook.

But after further negotiation, the firm had a bid for Bonds' factory in Alston, approved. Bonds has a further factory in Scunthorpe.

Teescraft director Rob Yorke said: “We look forward to getting the foundry back up and running again like it was before Christmas and recruiting new staff. The foundry now has a bright future.”

Administrator Deloitte confirmed that William Cooks will buy Bonds in Crook. William Cooks, a manufacturer in defence, rail and industrial products, intends to asset strip the factory and make the remaining ten members of staff redundant.

Teescraft was competing in its bid for the Alston foundry with Italian company Cividale, and was supported by Bishop Auckland solicitor Anthony Walters & Co.

A spokesperson from Teescraft said: “We can confirm that Teescraft Engineering Limited, a local trade operator based in Bishops Auckland, has acquired the business and assets of Bondshold Precision Castings Limited located at Alston, Cumbria, as a going concern. This secures five jobs.”

The Teescraft Group employs more than 200 people with an annual turnover of £35m.

It has an aluminium foundry in the Midlands and a cast iron foundry in Stockton as well as two machine shops in Ashington, one in Stockton another in Thornaby and another at its headquarters in Bishop Auckland.

It is the intention of Teescraft Engineering Ltd to continue operating from the site in Alston, retain and eventually expand the manufacturing facility.

Mr Yorke said: “The Alston business will continue to operate and will complement the existing business portfolio of Teescraft Engineering Ltd who are based on numerous sites across North East England and the Midlands with their headquarters in Bishop Auckland.”

Teescraft anticipates that it will be a couple of weeks before manufacturing can restart and will start to buy the raw materials now.

In January, when Teesport submitted its first bid, the firm’s director Rob Yorke said: “We saw Bonds in Crook and Alston as an ideal fit – with a modern facility and highly skilled workforce as well as an existing customer order book. Many of their clients are our clients as well, so it would be a no brainer.”