A BUSINESS in Derwentside has had more than £1,000 worth of signs stolen since moving to Consett at Christmas.

Derwent Tyres relies on its yellow and black advertising boards to direct customers to its premises, in Bradley Workshops, Leadgate.

It sells new and part-worn tyres and moved to the site from Langley Park.

The thefts from roadsides have been happening regularly. Managing director Colin Limond said he has lost more than 50 and it is costing him "a fortune".

"The more signs we put up, the more that seem to be disappearing. We don't know what is happening to them," said Mr Limond.

"They are fastened to the ground, so I don't how they are getting them out. We don't even know why, as they are no use to anyone else."

The latest plastic sign measured 2ft by 2ft and was stolen on Tuesday evening outside McDonalds in Consett.

Mr Limond said: "It is extremely frustrating, and I am having to go around every morning half an hour before opening up to check if more have gone missing.

"If they have, then I have to order another one. It is costing me an arm an a leg.

"I have got to have the sign to let people know where I am.

"I have people turning up saying they could not find the workshop for ages."

Mr Limond has not yet reported the matter to the police, but he will if any more go missing.

A spokesman for Consett Police, said: "If he wants to report it, we will look into it as a matter of theft.

"But we will also have to discuss it with the council regarding the resurrection of the signs because there are certain planning issues surrounding it."

Planners at Derwentside District Council were unavailable for comment.