School children called in to help with firm’s £22.5million Sunderland expansion

Hitachi Transport System Chief Executive Officer Takao Suzuki painting in the eye of a Daruma doll at the site of the new Vantec Europe 421,000 sq ft warehouse, Turbine Business Park, Sunderland.
Hitachi Transport System Chief Executive Officer Takao Suzuki painting in the eye of a Daruma doll at the site of the new Vantec Europe 421,000 sq ft warehouse, Turbine Business Park, Sunderland.
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SCHOOL pupils are being invited to face up to the challenge to create a good luck omen as a company prepares to launch its new multimillion-pound extension.

Vantec is open a £22.5million warehouse at the Turbine Business Park, in December. The development will create 230 new jobs and store parts to supply UK and European suppliers for the nearby Nissan plant.

As construction nears completion, the Japanese company is looking to work alongside schoolchildren to give them an insight into its business and develop relationships.

It is inviting 90 primary schools in the area to design their own daruma doll, which are a Japanese tradition and presented as a gift at the start of a project.

One eye is coloured in at its launch and the other is decorated once it is deemed a success.

A doll was presented to the team behind the scheme when Takao Suzuki, the chief executive of parent firm Hitachi, visited the site and it is now on show at the business’s reception.

Meanwhile four secondary schools – St Robert of Newminister, Oxclose, Washington and Biddick – will be challenged to come up with a name for the project.

Rebecca Shadford, Vantec Europe’s communications officer, said: “In judging the primary competition, we will be looking for something creative and exciting that reflects the message of the daruma doll and the company in any way.

“Anything which shows that extra research has been done will be very impressive.

“We are looking for original designs of a traditional object and something that stands out from the crowd.”

The details sent to the secondary schools include an overview of the company and warehouse and it is hoped the information will spark names which are creative and linked to its work, along with a 100 word statement about why the title will work.