Sunderland firm Viztek is paving the way for expansion

Viztek managing director Chris Elliott and Leader of Sunderland City Council, Coun Paul Watson
Viztek managing director Chris Elliott and Leader of Sunderland City Council, Coun Paul Watson
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Safety paving company Viztek is taking all the right steps for success.

The firm has revealed plans to open a manufacturing base in Sunderland to keep pace with demand for its products.

Viztek has doubled its turnover year-on-year since opening in June 2013 and is now on course for revenues of £320,000 by the end of its current financial year.

The company supplies and installs tactile paving tiles, which are used on footpaths, stairs and train station platforms to help pedestrians with sight problems to walk safely.

Its biggest customer is Network Rail and it also works with local authorities around the UK.

Products are currently manufactured in Hull as part of a joint venture Viztek has with G-Tech, but managing director Chris Elliott is keen to start making the specialist tiles in Sunderland.

“I’d like to open our own factory in Sunderland within the next year to eighteen months,” he said.

“There are two other companies making similar products and we can see improvements to be made.

“We have a number of unique innovations that no one else is doing. Safety is critical on the railways and we have listened to passenger groups. Anything that can improve safety is hugely important.

“We were very hands-on designing our own tiles. It took us a few months of constantly testing different mixes until we got it right, with uniform colour and thickness. It was all about attention to detail.”

Chris has worked with Sunderland City Council and the North East Bic from the outset.

City Council leader Coun Paul Watson, said: “Viztek is a young and ambitious company that has achieved a phenomenal growth arc in just a couple of years.

“We’re delighted the company is planning to start manufacturing its products in Sunderland in the future, which will create more jobs.”