One of the top 100 companies in the North East is pushing ahead out of lockdown after a £12.6million boost.

Zentia, a ceiling solutions business based in Gateshead, is positioning itself for future growth by bringing its manufacturing processes in-house, with support from Lloyds Bank.

Zentia works with specialised distributors, contractors, architects and interior designers across the UK.

The firm also specialises in modular suspended ceilings, offering multiple design options for customers and manufacturing these from two plants located in Team Valley, Gateshead.

Evolved from Armstrong Ceiling Solutions, Zentia has been working to move production for all core products in-house since 2020.

Almost 70% of current revenue is generated with products made internally, with the remaining 30% outsourced.

To bring most of the remaining 30% in-house, Zentia launched an investment programme in 2020 to purchase the equipment necessary for the transformation. This programme has been supported by a £12.6million asset finance facility from Lloyds Bank.

With the programme set to conclude in 2025, Zentia will significantly boost its profitability with the new machinery.

The firm will also grow employment beyond the current 190-strong workforce and secure the roles of current employees during the insourcing process.

Lee Davidson, Director of Finance and Administration at Zentia, said: “Over the past three years we have worked hard to cement our reputation as a market leader in modular suspended ceilings.

“Whilst the pandemic was a disruptive time for the business with social distancing measures hampering our operational capacity and causing supply chain delays, we are now in a position to push ahead with our plans to fully internalise our production process.

"This will enable us to control the entire process, become strategically independent and boost our revenue.

“The support from Lloyds Bank is a key foundation and an enabler for our ambitious programme.

"We will also be bringing in more employees which will be a boost for both British manufacturing and the local supply chain here in the North East.”

Hannah Douglass, relationship director at Lloyds Bank, said: “Zentia has gone from strength to strength over the past few years and has been involved in many high-profile projects across the country.

“It is a tremendously ambitious firm, and the new investment programme looks to build on the business’ recent growth, which saw it break into the top 100 companies by turnover in the North East.

“The decision to bring the firm’s remaining production processes in-house will be a huge boost for British manufacturing.

"We’re excited to see Zentia press ahead with its plans over the coming months.”

Among the key Zentia projects was the renovation of Kings Church in Amersham and the transformation of Harton Technology College in South Shields - a large, mixed 11-18 secondary school which was one of the first 100 outstanding schools to be awarded Teaching School status.