A SPECIALIST scientific testing company in the region has been bought by a Scottish company.

Bodycote Materials Testing, based in Scotland, has bought Ensecon Laboratories, in the Glover Network Centre, Washington, Wearside, for an undisclosed sum.

Ensecon, which has offices in Edinburgh, Huddersfield and London, specialises in asbestos management and testing, stack emission monitoring and hygiene.

The company employs 37 staff. Johnny Armstrong will remain as managing director.

It will become Bodycote's sixth health sciences laboratory in the UK and allows the group to offer a national asbestos management service.

The company said it planned further expansion to capitalise on the growth in regulation-driven markets.

David Clapperton, of Bodycote, said: "The deal means we have access to a larger client base and more security as part of a larger organisation. It also means both companies can market more widely and open new facilities around the UK, which we plan to do."

The Washington site is Bodycote's third in the region. It also has materials testing facilities for the aerospace and gas turbine markets in Newcastle and a laboratory at Riverside Park, Middlesbrough, that serves the offshore, steel and defence industries.