Merlin’s magic bucks recession


A HARTLEPOOL business is going from strength to strength just 15 months after taking over an ailing firm.

Forty one jobs were lost when the former electronics company Flex-Ability went into administration in June last year.

Merlin Flex-Ability

Merlin Flex-Ability

But the site on the Park View West Industrial Estate was taken over by the Falcon PCB Group, which immediately took on 21 of the former workers.

Since then, it has added 17 more and bosses say they are planning even more investment.

Falcon re-named the business Merlin Flex-Ability Ltd and immediately re-employed 21 former employees at its 24,000 square foot facility when it moved in.

The company specialises in the design, manufacturing and assembly of flexible printed circuit boards for various sectors including military, medical, aerospace and telecoms.

Mark Merifield

Mark Merifield

Hartlepool Borough Council’s economic development team has worked closely with the company offering a range of help and support.

Councillor Peter Jackson, the council’s cabinet member for regeneration and economic development and skills, said: “It’s extremely heartening in the current economic climate to see a local company doing so well.

“The new owners have invested substantially in the business with state-of-the art facilities and are recognised as one of the market leaders in the UK for manufacturing flexible printed circuit boards.

“It’s been a pleasure to work with them over the last 15 months or so and see them create employment for local people.”

The investment by the new owners includes a £100,000 laser drilling machine which increases the company’s current capabilities significantly and provides them with a major competitive edge over many of their competitors.

Mark Merifield, managing director of Merlin Flex-Ability, said: “We are very pleased with the way the company has developed over the last 15 months and have plans to invest further in the future.

“The council’s economic development team has been very supportive in helping us to grow the business and we really appreciate the help.”

The Falcon PCB Group is a privately owned UK based company with manufacturing and supply facilities in both the UK and China.