Jobs may be first of many

Left to right, Hartlepool Mayor Stuart Drummond, Omega Plastics managing director Dave Crone, Propipe director David Forster and managing director of regeneration agency Tees Valley Unlimited Stephen Catchpole

Left to right, Hartlepool Mayor Stuart Drummond, Omega Plastics managing director Dave Crone, Propipe director David Forster and managing director of regeneration agency Tees Valley Unlimited Stephen Catchpole

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TWO companies have signed on the dotted line to bring a jobs boost to Hartlepool – and campaigners hinted they could be the first of many.

The first firms to move into the town’s section of the Tees Valley Enterprise Zone have been unveiled.

Omega Plastics, an injection moulding company, is bringing more than 20 new jobs to town, while Propipe, which is currently located on Hartlepool’s Park View Industrial Estate, will create at least 24 new jobs on top of the 20 people they already employ.

On the day both firms were officially welcomed to the Queens Meadow Business Park, dignitaries told the Hartlepool Mail of their hopes that more investors could follow.

Hartlepool Mayor Stuart Drummond said: “We are speaking to a number of companies and it is about doing the groundwork first.

“We have got all the ingredients in place to make Hartlepool and Teesside as attractive as possible. The challenge now is to get people to sign up and take the plunge.”

He said that while other areas “sat about whinging”, Tees Valley positioned itself to take best advantage of the economic climate.

“We are over the moon that we are leading the way.”

The Mail was first to reveal earlier this week that Omega and Propipe were investing in Hartlepool.

David Forster, director with Propipe which manufactures specialist pipeline equipment for the oil and gas industry, said the firm was “in the process of fitting out the factory and expected to be starting work in June”.

He said the planned 24 jobs were a “conservative estimate” and added: “It could be a lot more.”

He said the recruitment process had already started.

Omega Plastics was formed six years ago and is currently based at Riverside Business Park, in Blyth, Northumberland but is now expanding to include Hartlepool.

The plastic injection moulding company lists Unilever, Aston Martin and McLaren Mercedes among its customers.

Managing director Dave Crone said: “We looked at Wynyard and South Shields and the deal that Hartlepool Borough Council and Tees Valley Unlimited (TVU) offered was a real attraction.”

Stephen Catchpole, managing director of the regeneration agency Tees Valley Unlimited which is battling to bring investment to the area, said negotiations were under way to bring more large-scale firms to town although they were still in the early stages.

But he said there could be a big-name announcement for another part of the Tees Valley Enterprise Zone within weeks.

He said it was “incredibly encouraging” that the Enterprise Zones could already welcome two expanding manufacturers with international clients.

He hailed the “superb partnership” between TVU and Tees Valley’s borough councils and added: “When the Government asked for enterprise zones to be put forward, we put forward an innovative and interesting one.”