A FACTORY is “buzzing” after taking on more staff and investing more than £40m.
Workers at Caterpillar, in Peterlee, say the plant is on a high after it was chosen to build a new range of massive articulated trucks for markets all over the world, as revealed in the Hartlepool Mail earlier this week.
Around £40m has been spent on the factory on the North West Industrial Estate in Peterlee so that it can handle the contract.
It has also taken on 50 extra workers, who were formerly engaged as agency staff on the site, and more could be on the way.
Caterpillar will produce the new B series of trucks and Russ Richardson, 39, welcomed the news.
The Peterlee dad-of-one, from the Burnhope Way area of town, said: “This is a really exciting time for the plant and the workers are buzzing about it.”
Russ started as an apprentice fabricator when he was 17 after finishing at Shotton Hall Comprehensive School.
He hailed the new boost and said: “We have just come out of recession and the place is already on a high again. We seem to have come out of the tough times as quickly as we went into them.”
The workforce turned out for an official and spectacular launch of the new truck which involved releasing fire crackers and every member of staff being presented with a commemorative T-shirt, as well as the new truck being put on show.
The 50-acre site already employs more than 1,000 workers on the design and manufacture of the machines.
Extra recruitment looks set to continue with additional shifts being considered for later this year and tcompany is also planning to add 10 more new apprentices to the team.