THE boss of a North-East scanner firm helping to fight terrorism says it will continue to grow and create jobs after securing a £3m support package.

Dr Arnab Basu, chief executive at Kromek, said the company will keep pressing ahead with expansion plans after support from HSBC.

The Northern Echo yesterday (Tuesday, March 17) reported how the firm, which has its headquarters in Sedgefield, County Durham, has received HSBC working capital backing.

The company is known for its pioneering scanner capable of identifying liquids in bottles, including explosives, alcohol and narcotics, and also works with the US Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) on a portable detection system for gamma and neutron radiation.

The firm last year said it wanted 90 workers to supplement its rapid growth, which would take its workforce to about 200 and help strengthen its operations in Germany and the US.

Speaking to The Northern Echo from the US, Dr Basu reiterated those aims, saying it was primed for expansion.

He said: “We are growing as a business both in the UK and US and 90 jobs is still the plan.

“We are very well positioned for more growth across our markets.

“We don’t have to draw the funding, but it’s there if we need it and having working capital is always good.

“A partner like HSBC is also very good to have too.”

Kromek’s liquid scanner is now used at more than 40 airports worldwide, and last year it renewed its deal with DARPA to develop gamma and neutron detection systems.

Analysts believe the contract could be a game-changer for the County Durham firm, with more than six million US government personnel across the armed forces, police and Homeland Security, potentially needing to carry such a device.

It also previously signed a contract worth about £380,000 for new orders to supply radiation detectors and components to a technology firm behind equipment used to diagnose the strength and health of bones, and secured £247,700 work with an Asian customer to send imaging equipment for nuclear and security applications.

The company started as a two-man spin-out from Durham University’s physics department in 2003, and raised £15m in 2013 from a flotation on the AIM stock exchange.