Firm ‘secures future’ with £1m deal

NEW PLANT ... Ford Component Manufacturing boss Geoff Ford with North Tyneside mayor Linda Arkley.
NEW PLANT ... Ford Component Manufacturing boss Geoff Ford with North Tyneside mayor Linda Arkley.

A BOOMING South Tyneside-based engineering company says its operation in the borough is secure after opening a new £1m plant on the north side of the river.

Leading automotive and high technology parts maker Ford Component Manufacturing Limited says its new 30,000sq-ft site at Silver Fox Way on the New York Industrial Estate, North Tyneside, should be good news for South Tyneside .

It’s the latest expansion at the award-winning company, which also incorporates Ford Aerospace Limited, based at Tyne Dock in South Shields.

Bosses say its expanded capability, officially opened yesterday, will further cement its reputation as an “innovative in-demand and forward-thinking business.”

Work at the North Tyneside plant started earlier this month and saw production of high-volume parts, and 10 employees, switch from Ford Component Manufacturing’s plant at Monkton Business Park North in Hebburn.

But the company says the move far from diminishes the South Tyneside plant’s long-term future.

It says the plan will allow that facility to concentrate on low to medium volume manufacture and precision laser work, creating “valuable space for expansion“ – and the hope of further jobs being created there later in the year.

North Tyneside’s elected mayor, Linda Arkley, was among 60 dignitaries who were welcomed to yesterday’s opening ceremony by company chairman Geoff Ford MBE.

Unveiling a plaque, Mrs Arkley praised the company’s investment in the new plant, which will employ 25 members of staff.

Precision pressing and metal treatments, including components made durable and corrosion resistant, will be carried out there to supply the German family-owned Freudenberg Group – which is based nearby – with components for use in the automotive industry.

Mr Ford said: “This is a significant day in the long and outstanding history of Ford. I am delighted that this fantastic facility has officially opened for business.

“The opening is a reflection of how well Ford continues to do and of the ambitions for growth we have.”

Mark Podmore, managing director, added: “Everyone involved in Ford can be proud of this latest step and feel a sense of excitement about the opportunities that are being created.”

He said that moving high-volume work from Hebburn will make Ford more versatile and allow the company to achieve its full potential.

A key feature of the new plant is a sophisticated phosphate treatment line where precision pressed parts are given a final chemical finish and seal.

The site also has its own water treatment facility to ensure any liquid by-products are dealt with safely and in an environmentally-friendly way.

Overall, Ford Component Manufacturing Limited and Ford Aerospace Limited employ 160 people.