THIRTY new jobs are to be created as a successful manufacturing firm expands its operations.
The news that Wessington Cryogenics is opening new premises in Castletown came on the day that Wearside’s jobless total fell to its lowest level this year.
The 28-year-old company, which designs and manufactures specialist gas storage tanks, moved into Rainton Bridge Business Park just two years ago.
But it has already outgrown the 70,000 sq ft premises and is adding the Sunderland unit to its existing site.
“What we make at Wessington is unique,” said director Gill Southern. “It involves some brilliant engineering, and it’s all designed and built by local people.
“In the last year we’ve pioneered new products that now set the standard for one of our global customers and which have opened new markets.”
Wessington’s annual revenue is about £9million and it has weathered the recession without having to make a single redundancy in its 120-strong workforce.
The company’s customer list includes the Ministry of Defence, Nasa, Cern (the European laboratory for particle physics) and Scottish Gas Network. It exports more than 80 per cent of its products.
Wessington bosses believe liquefied natural gas and helium tanks will become important areas of growth. The new unit on the Sunrise Enterprise Park will house some of the work being produced for oil and gas companies.
Managing director Paul Rowe said support the firm had received from Sunderland City Council’s business investment team had been “outstanding”.
Council leader Paul Watson said: “Wessington is a great example of a family-owned firm which has the talent, drive and engineering skills to compete with the best in the world and win.”
l Latest figures from the Office of National Statistics show there were 10,668 number of people receiving Jobseeker’s Allowance across the Sunderland City Council area last month.
The third successive monthly fall, it is a drop of 118 on March and down by 301 from February’s high of 10,969 – but still more than at any time last year.
The situation on Wearside was in contract to that across the North East, which saw a 6,000 rise in unemployment between January and March.
Northern TUC regional secretary Kevin Rowan said: “The figures once again throw into sharp contrast the claim that we are all in this together. There are nine jobseekers per vacancy in our region compared to just three in the South East.”
l Yesterday, the administrators of Clinton Cards announced that all of the group’s Birthdays stores and roughly 200 Clintons-branded stores will close.
The move will see 2,800 full and part-time staff lose their jobs, in a wave of store closures starting next week.