INCREASED business has led a Darlington company to expand and buy more equipment.

Spray Tech Paint Coatings has occupied premises on the Lingfield Estate since it was established in 1996 then, earlier this year, partners Mr John Tindall and his wife, Deborah, and their team also took over an adjoining unit, with help and support from Business Link.

As a result, the company has bought more equipment and provided an office/customer meeting room, allowing them to diversify their services.

The expansion has also meant a significant increase in the workload of their six staff.

"We found we were becoming overstretched in terms of space and equipment; the expansion has enabled us to cope with the demands of the customer, whatever their needs," said Mrs Tindall.

"We now have the opportunity to offer a much quicker turnaround and more versatility in the work and colours that we can supply, while maintaining the high level of personal service that we pride ourselves on giving to each of our customers."

Spray-Tech Paint Coatings was set up to supply manufacturing companies with a paint finishing service for metal, plastic or wood products by way of powder coating, stove enamelling, air drying paints, textured paints and lacquers.

It operates manually, which allows the firm to handle many colour changes while dealing with smaller quantities and painting more intricate parts, as well as more large-scale procedures.

This unique and versatile way of working sets it apart from other paint finishing companies, which tend to be equipped only to deal with larger operations.

The expansion has resulted in two new paint booths which will allow the company to move more into the plastic products side of the business.

In the early days, Spray-Tech turned to Business Link for support with the details of running a business, a relationship which has continued throughout the expansion.

"Although we were confident about our business venture we felt we needed some assistance with the finer details," said Mrs Tindall. "Business Link provided us with informative advice on issues such as managing our cashflow, health and safety and the usual red tape associated with setting up in business."

Business Link helped oversee the expansion from the planning stage through to negotiating the deal and securing the premises.

"Their support and encouragement has been a great comfort, I hope the relationship will continue in the future," she said.

Rosalind Costa, business adviser at Business Link said: "I met Deborah and John in 1995 when they were first contemplating setting up in business. Since then, they have doubled their workforce and have expanded the business."

The business carries out work on behalf of a number of manufacturing companies across the Tees Valley. Customers tend to be companies with no paint facilities or those without the means to deal with a particular part of the process, such as the more intricate detail