A CAR parts company is beginning its recruitment drive to find more than 170 workers as it increases its production line.
TRW has been given approval to build a new 1,900sq metre warehouse at its site in Mill Hill, on Peterlee’s North West Industrial Estate, with the extra space to allow it to make way for machinery to produce three new car parts.
The work will be completed by the end of the year and the kit needed to make the belt drive steering units, airbag controls and vacuum sensors for brakes should be in place by March.
In the meantime, the firm, which has been based in the town since 1996, is starting to recruit engineers and other staff to join its existing workforce of 515, with 172 more posts to be created over the coming years.
The company is using £1.78million of cash from the Government’s Regional Growth Fund to cover the cost of the expansion, along with a “significant” amount of its own money.
The additional parts will be made following the agreement on three contracts with the car makers, which are not being named by TRW for commercial reasons, with one to see it supply parts until 2021.
The deals are part of a long-term business plan put in place by TRW, an American-owned company which also has a base in Houghton and operates plants in Africa, Asia and South America, to ensure it continues to flourish.
Last month it announced sales of $4billion (£2.5billion) a rise of one per cent, and net earnings of $163million – just over £101million during the last year.
Other firms in the vehicle production trade have struggled to keep workers on as demand has fallen for its products because of the tough economic climate, with nearby Caterpillar letting 370 workers go in recent months.
Plant manager Robin Finley said: “The feedback from our workers has been fantastic, and we’re happy to say this will mean significant growth over the next five years, and we’re very excited about those plans.
“We are looking to attract test and electronic engineers and those with a mechanical engineering background.
“We’re trying to bring in high-calibre manufacturers and production to help us grow the business.”
He added that the company was looking for experienced workers who would be able to get straight to work once the production line starts up.
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