MORE than 40 jobs have been created in Hartlepool after the first businesses to take advantage of the newly-created Tees Valley Enterprise Zone revealed plans to move to the town.
Omega Plastics and Propipe Limited will both be moving into units at Hartlepool’s Queens Meadow Business Park – one of 12 Enterprise Zone (EZ) sites across the Tees Valley announced last year by the Government to help boost the economy and create new jobs.
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Both companies will benefit from business rate relief over the next five years and during that period a total of 45 new jobs are expected to be created.
The Mail revealed last month that two firms were close to landing the jobs boost.
To mark their arrival, a signing ceremony will be held at Queens Meadow tomorrow attended by Hartlepool Mayor Stuart Drummond, Tees Valley Unlimited’s Managing Director Stephen Catchpole and representatives from other key partner organisations.
Tees Valley Enterprise Zone was among the first EZs to be approved by the Government last August and was described at the time by Communities and Local Government Minister Eric Pickles as “bold and clever”.
Omega Plastics – a plastic injection moulding company – was formed six years ago and is currently based at Riverside Business Park in Blyth, Northumberland.
The company, which lists Unilever, Aston Martin and McLaren Mercedes among its customers, will retain its existing premises and aims to increase its workforce from 29 to 50 as part of the expansion into Queens Meadow Business Park.
Propipe Limited is currently located on Hartlepool’s Park View Industrial Estate and the move to a 16,000sq ft unit at Queens Meadow will enable the company to expand and more than double its current workforce.
Formed in 1998, Propipe manufactures specialist pipeline equipment for the oil and gas industry and has current contracts in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Far East and the Americas.
Propipe aims to create at least 24 new jobs on top of the 20 people they already employ and is recruiting now for project engineers, design engineers, workshop operators and sales personnel.
Mayor Drummond said: “This is tremendous news. I’m delighted that Omega Plastics and Propipe Limited have signed up to the Enterprise Zone and hopefully they will be the first of many companies to benefit from the incentives on offer.”
Dave Crone, managing director of Omega Plastics, said: “We have been looking to expand for some time and after looking at various sites, Queens Meadow Business Park offered the best all-round package.
“The business rate relief for five years enables us to invest more heavily in product development and other areas of the business and we know that the necessary workforce skills exist in Hartlepool and the surrounding area.”
David Forster, director with Propipe Limited, said: “We are very excited about our new premises at Queens Meadow which will enable the company to grow and create new jobs for local people.
“Hartlepool Council and Tees Valley Unlimited have been very supportive and everyone involved with the company is relishing the prospect of entering a new era in our new premises.”
Stephen Catchpole, managing director of regeneration agency Tees Valley Unlimited, added: “As the Local Enterprise Partnership we have worked hard to ensure that the environment created by the Enterprise Zone was advantageous to businesses and potential investors and also complementary to growing Tees Valley industries.”