WORK has started on a multi-million pound factory investment which will create 90 new jobs for Hartlepool.
The good news story has emerged at town chemical plant Huntsman on the day the firm revealed it was also appointing a new site director.
Huntsman is investing £15.5m in its Greatham site – boosted by a further £2.7m of Regional Growth Fund cash.
The project at Huntsman’s titanium dioxide manufacturing facility will see state-of-the-art equipment installed – ready for use by next summer.
And the scheme will also create 90 jobs in heavy engineering, construction and fabrication.
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Bosses say the installation of new equipment will give the site “greater manufacturing flexibility” and reduce the amount of waste it send to landfill.
All this comes in the year that Huntsman is celebrating its 40th year of manufacturing at Greatham where it makes pigment products for industries including chemicals, plastics, automotive, aviation, textiles, footwear, paints and coatings.
It also makes products for construction, technology, agriculture, health care, detergent, personal care, furniture, appliances and packaging.
The good news jobs boost for Hartlepool was described as “very welcome” by town MP Iain Wright.
He added: “The creation of 90 jobs in a forward-looking industry, in which we need to thrive and prosper if we are going to re-balance the economy, is very welcome.
“Despite the improving unemployment figures that we heard this week, we still have an uphill battle when it comes to tackling the jobs situation in our town. Any news of this nature is very welcome.”
Town Mayor Stuart Drummond said: “This is something that Hartlepool Borough Council and Tees Valley Unlimited have been working on for a number of months, to work up the RGF bid.”
He added: “I am delighted that we are starting to see some of the fruits of our labour.”
The investment and jobs boost is only one piece of in the latest piece of good news for the Huntsman Hartlepool site.
Gary Conroy’s appointment is being seen as a move to help take the company forward.
He was previously the chief operations officer at Lotte Chemical UK.
Scott Anderson, the Hunstman vice president of manufacturing and technology, said: “Gary joins at an exciting time for our Greatham site.
“We have recently secured investment of over £17m million.
“We have launched a ZERO harm program to further drive improvements in our safety and environmental performance and this year we are also celebrating Greatham’s 40th anniversary thanks to the dedication of the strong, capable workforce.
“We look to Gary to take the site to new levels of performance in the next phase of Greatham’s future,” he added.
Mr Conroy will join Huntsman in October.