Funding boost to bring jobs

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AN electronics firm plans to create about 90 new jobs after winning £200,000-worth of funding.

Connor Solutions in Houghton was one of 14 firms in the region to win a slice of the first round of the Government’s Regional Growth Fund (RGF).

It has now won £200,000 from fund management firm NEL Fund Managers, via the Finance for Business North East Growth Fund, to take advantage of new opportunities.

Connor Solutions, which employs 150 people, raised an additional £300,000 through commercial sources.

Phil Hall, finance director for the Gadwall Road business, said the company expects to create 90 new jobs over the next three years.

He said: “We know that there are an awful lot of opportunities coming our way over the next year, and have been busy putting everything in place that we need to take advantage of them, part of this planning is the working capital we need to manage new contracts as they come in, and this latest investment sets things up perfectly for us.”

He added: “We firmly believe that we’ve got everything in place to effect a real step change in the business over the next three years, and will be able to create a significant number of new jobs in the process.”

Connor Solutions saw turnover increase by more than 12 per cent over the last year to £13.3million.

The firm is now aiming to break the £20million turnover barrier within the next three years.

Phil Hall, finance director at Connor Solutions, said: “The recession made things tough for both ourselves and our customers, but our performance over the last year has demonstrated both the resilience and quality of our business model, and we’re very much looking forward to a strong future.”

Jane Siddle, investment executive at NEL Fund Managers, said: “Connor has consistently delivered on its business plans over many years, and is a fantastic advert for the manufacturing skillsbase that we have in the North East.”