Bright times for Stadium

AN electronics company will create 20 jobs and at least £3m of new business at its Hartlepool headquarters this year.

Bosses at Stadium Electronics say their town plant in Brenda Road is more than holding its own and looking forward to a potentially promising 12 months.

Hartlepool’s good fortune comes at the same time as Stadium is closing its plant in Rugby, Warwickshire.

Much of the contract work is being transferred to the Hartlepool plant where 131 people currently work and where numbers are set to rise to 150.

Chief executive Stephen Phipson said: “We are closing the Rugby plant and it will take us half way through the year to effect that closure, after extensive consultation with the employees.

“We will move work to Hartlepool so we are not losing business. What we are doing is reducing the overheads by reducing a plant.”

But while Rugby is closing, Stadium has invested money in upgrading its Hartlepool plant and Mr Phipson added: “We are re-laying out the shop floor and it is looking good there. We shall end up with another £3m to £4m of business activity in Hartlepool.

“By the end of the process of transfer from Rugby, we shall end up with another 20 or so jobs in Hartlepool.”

He said Stadium was working in a competitive market where the level of activity made it difficult to sustain two factories.

“We are doing well and holding our own,” he added.

Late last year, Stadium confirmed to the Mail it had contracts coming through to make smart meters and to manufacture electronic boxes for shops.

The timely boost came after it saw profits fall from £1.5m down to £0.58m in the first half of last year.

But the fall in demand, particularly for electronic manufacturing services (EMS) and especially in its Asian business, was likely to turn round when the effects of the company’s growth come into play, say management.