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New contract wins see North East's Sapphire Engineering sparkle

A North East company is engineering a bright future on the back of new contract wins and ambitious plans to relocate to larger premises.

Boldon Colliery based Sapphire Engineering, which provides engineering services and skilled labour to regional and national customers, has seen a strong performance in the last six months, reporting a healthy increase in business as it targets continued growth in core markets.

With turnover exceeding £1 million, the company is gearing up after winning more than £250,000 worth of new orders recently, providing additional engineering services and workshop projects to customers who include TT Electronics, Greggs and TRW Electronics and De La Rue.

The company’s also won an undisclosed contract from one of the region’s leading MRO providers, the NBT Group, to build and install a range of specialised advanced automated parts vending machines using RFID storeroom automation.

Demand for recruitment services is supporting growth, with Sapphire supplying a diverse range of skilled contract labour to support existing customers as well as other local firms.

New work has boosted workforce numbers with a core team of 10 people now employed with plans to create additional engineering roles as workload volumes continue to rise.

Managing director Alan Hedley, who established the company in 2003, is also eyeing expansion as it looks to improve capacity with a planned move in the near future to a new 7,000 sq. m factory unit, which will be built on a plot of land purchased by the company near to Prince Consort Road Industrial Estate in Hebburn.

He expects Sapphire will retain a strong pipeline of work over the coming 18 months, despite economic uncertainties, as manufacturers continue to ramp-up their own operations and invest in additional resources.

“We are now busier than ever, and we’re involved in developing new projects right across the region and beyond, which is extremely encouraging and contributing to growth,” Alan Hedley said.

“As our customers’ own investment and growth plans come to fruition, we are seeing steady demand for skilled labour, which is also augmenting the growth of our core engineering experience and technical skills.

“Regardless of all the uncertainty around Brexit, we are confident and expect the sectors we support to remain busy, and we look forward to exceeding our customers' needs from our new factory.”

Sapphire Engineering has almost two decades of experience working for automotive, food manufacturing, construction, process plant and machinery companies. It can also provide customers with multi-skilled electrical and mechanical technicians, general labour support, manufacturing services and dedicated project management services.

Abi Bentley-Cottam
Article by Abi Bentley-Cottam
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