South Shields firm plays role in North East jobs boom

Guy Currey, left, director of Invest North East, Coun Iain Malcolm, centre, leader of South Tyneside Council and Robert Forsyth, Commercial Director at Metec UK.
Guy Currey, left, director of Invest North East, Coun Iain Malcolm, centre, leader of South Tyneside Council and Robert Forsyth, Commercial Director at Metec UK.

A South Tyneside firm is contributing to the North East outstripping every other area of the UK outside London for creating new jobs from foreign investment.

New figures reveal that - in the last year - the North East Combined Authority (NECA) created nearly twice as many new overseas investment jobs for every one million people of the working age population than the UK average.

Digital, advanced manufacturing, financial and professional services and the energy sectors helped the NECA area secure 3,160 jobs from foreign direct investment and reinvestment in 2016-17, compared with the UK average of 1,600 posts.

One of the sucess stories is Metec UK which has seen a £1m investment by the firm’s Italian parent company in its South Shields plant.

The company now employing 35 people in South Shields is a world leader in manufacturing aluminium and zinc anodes – castings attached to structures in the oil and gas and industries to prevent corrosion.

The Italian owner’s North East investment includes more than £500,000 of new machinery for its foundry and associated fabrication workshop, to produce anodes to various client specifications.

Robert Forsyth, Metec UK commercial director, said: “The investment into the North East by Metec shows the strength, stability and skill set our region offers.

“We are bidding for and hopeful of winning record size contracts which will further secure the short and long-term future of our company, providing new local jobs and supply chain opportunities for the foreseeable future.”

Guy Currey, Invest North East England director, said: “Analysis by the North East LEP of Department for International Trade figures reveals that only London is doing comparatively better than we are.

“The North East secured 3,160 jobs from foreign direct investment or reinvestment for every one million working age residents. The UK average was 1,600 jobs for every one million of the working age population, which includes London, and is confirmation that the NECA area is significantly punching above its weight.