BOSSES at an East Durham car bearing manufacturer say they are poised to create 45 more jobs through a £27m investment.
NSK Bearings Europe, based in Peterlee, is ploughing £23.5m into its Peterlee facility, after being awarded a £3.5m government Regional Growth Fund (RGF) grant.
And a third of the new roles will be for apprentices.
The investment planned will see an on-site training centre established for its 400-strong workforce and improvements to its production line and warehousing.
Plant director Keith Brain welcomed the news from the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills.
He said: “We are delighted that our investment proposals have been supported by the Government, which has secured this growth for the North East region.
“The plant at Peterlee will see new production lines, an upgrade to our warehousing facilities and the introduction of a skills and learning centre in the plant.
“This is excellent news to everyone that works at Peterlee.”
The 45 jobs are set to be phased in over the next three to four years. Seventeen of them will be trainees on a three-year programme of in-house and college-based training, which will lead on to permanent staff jobs.
The 22 production workers taken on will also receive NVQ training, where appropriate.
Easington MP Grahame Morris welcomed the news.
He said: “NSK is one of the area’s best established employers and has an excellent track record as a good employer and investor in our manufacturing base with the North East.
“The creation of 45 new jobs on the back of significant investment is excellent news.
“Given the scale of job losses in East Durham from the manufacturing sector I would like to see more support for jobs and growth from central government.”
NSK Bearings Europe has been located at Peterlee, County Durham since 1976 and currently employs more than 400 people.