A Teesside firm is set to complete a record year by launching another recruitment drive, after seeing its workforce triple in 11 months.

Pearson-Harper will begin 2001 by moving to larger premises in Billingham to cater for the increasing numbers, with the company's growth rate expected to continue.

Its success is based on securing a number of high value projects with blue chip companies such as BNFL, Total Fina Elf, BP and Kvaerner.

The firm, which organises engineering information for businesses across the world, had just 21 staff at the start of 1999. It expects to have an 85-strong workforce on the Belasis Industrial Park by early next year.

MD Steve Pearson said: "We were very keen to stay at Belasis, and this deal we have agreed with the landlord, regional development agency, One NorthEast, will secure our future on Teesside.

"The quality of the workforce and the expertise we have developed with the team here in recent years makes our business unique in that it can provide a complete system implementation service."

The company was founded by Mr Pearson from Billingham and Stockton's Dave Harper in 1992, and it is currently developing a unique engineering information website giving process engineers access to a vast library of information.

Pearson-Harper has created its own interim software - Phasset, which acts as a kind of temporary database for manufacturers to use while their information is being collected, cleaned up and validated.

Technical director Dave Harper said: "It doesn't matter how good your computer system is if the information you feed into it is inaccurate or out of date.

"New business systems can cost millions to purchase, and, for a small percentage of the overall project cost, Pearson-Harper can organise the engineering information to increase efficiency and maximise the investment."