A JOINT venture is helping the North-East aerospace sector to take off.

Aerospace Systems and Technologies 2000 Ltd (AS&T), of Consett, and Royston Components Ltd, part of the Royston Engineering Group, in Newcastle, have joined forces to source components from Poland.

A handful of Royston Components' personnel will be based at AS&T and further jobs will be created in the short-term as a result of the venture.

AS&T employs 240 people on Derwentside. The company manufactures aircraft components, including wing parts for the Airbus and ice protection systems for business jets, military and smaller aircraft.

The components manufactured in Poland will be assembled at AS&T on Derwentside.

Royston Components has been established in Poland for more than eight years and has relationships with a number of companies carrying out engineering work.

Owen McFarlane, chief executive of AS&T, said the company expected to grow its business by 50 per cent in the next year, adding: "We have the design capability and technical expertise here to operate at the leading edge, but we are in a highly competitive market.

"We need to source products globally and this joint venture with Royston Components gives us both significant advantages and will also benefit the region.

"Their engineering expertise and experience of the Polish market makes an ideal combination with our expertise and reputation in the aviation field."

Tom Wilkinson is the full-time managing director of Royston Components and will be based at Consett to establish closer links with AS&T's customers.