Cable firm set to grow

A CABLE firm is planning “significant growth” in Hartlepool after selling off another division of the business.

JDR has this week agreed to sell its Marine Cables division, based in Rotterdam, in Holland, to Fugro NV for an unspecified sum.

Marine Cables specialises in cabling for seismic and oceanographic data gathering systems.

Bosses at JDR Cables say the sale means they can concentrate on other parts of the company, including the fast-expanding factory at Greenland Road, in Hartlepool, where it makes cables for the offshore industry.

A spokesman said: “The divestment of Marine Cables will enable JDR Cable Systems to focus on the umbilical systems and subsea power cables business where it has developed a market-leading position.”

That position means JDR can “exploit significant growth opportunities”, the spokesman added.

JDR makes custom-designed power cables which are used below deepsea waters for businesses such as offshore windfarms.

It has factories in Hartlepool and Littleport, in the UK, as well as Houston, in the USA, and Norway and Thailand.

JDR opened a new £20m state-of-the-art Hartlepool factory in a wave of publicity in July 2009 when bosses said they hoped to bring 200 jobs to town.

Twenty five people were taken on immediately and the numbers soon grew as more orders came in.

By July last year, the company doubled the size of its manufacturing space and added an 80ft-high plant to house the new equipment which would make a new type of cable.

Its 100,000 sq ft facility expanded by a further 116,000 sq ft to meet demand.

It now has around 70 staff members on its books at Hartlepool and that will rise to 100 within the next 12 months.

Then, once the new facilities come on line, the numbers will rise to 150.