NEW jobs and a £500,000 expansion have been announced at an award-winning Hartlepool company.
Hart Biologicals is taking on 13 extra staff and expanding into another building on the Queens Meadow Business Park.
The medical firm specialises in making the reagents which are used to investigate the blood clotting function in patients.
It includes patients who are taking blood-thinning drugs such as warfarin, patients who are bleeding acutely during or after surgery or trauma, and those with blood coagulation disorders.
The firm has now taken over a vacant 6,500 sq ft unit next to its headquarters. The extension will house the Hart Biologicals Research and Development team.
Alby Pattison, managing director of Hart Biologicals, said the expansion is in line with the development of partner organisations his team works alongside.
He said: “This expansion is in response to the continued growth of the business, and we are delighted to have been able to take over the vacant premises next door to our base.
“The current site will be our manufacturing hub, and we have reconfigured it all to house the R&D team next door.
“Sharing labs and office space has not been ideal as we have grown as a business in recent years, so this really is the next stage of our development.”
The expansion comes about after Hart Biologicals worked closely with Tees Valley Unlimited to secure Regional Growth Fund capital, with Hartlepool Borough Council, UK Steel Enterprise, the North East Chamber of Commerce and UKTI also having a positive input.
Mr Pattison added: “We finalised the bid in September last year, so it has been quite a quick process once the funding was secured.
“Work has been going on to transform the empty unit into what we require over the last few months and we are looking forward to the handover on February 6.”
The expansion will allow the firm to create 13 new positions over the next two and a half years, with roles to be filled at various levels including research and development scientists.
Hart Biologicals was formed in 2003 as a supplier of instruments and reagents for the monitoring of INR (a test of blood clotting levels) and warfarin control. It has enjoyed an impressive growth and has won many titles including Hartlepool Business of the Year in 2012.