Manufacturing firm Omega Plastics has announced it is set to close its Hartlepool plant and move jobs out of the town.
The firm is shutting its site on the Queens Meadow Business Park and transferring production to a new facility in Gateshead.
The company says there will be no job losses as a result of the move and steps are in place to help staff with the additional cost of travel to the new plant in Team Valley.
It is also closing its Blyth factory and amalgamating both operations in Gateshead, in a move which will see it return to the site where it was first established 21 years ago.
The firm has a workforce of 120 staff across the two sites, including 27 in Hartlepool.
Specialising in custom, multiple-use plastic injection mouldings and rapid tooling for the automotive, healthcare and FMCG industries, Omega Plastics Group has enjoyed continued growth since its acquisition of high volume plastic injection moulding specialist, Signal Plastics, in 2015.
In December 2016, the group moved Signal Plastics to a larger 42,700 sq ft factory unit on Washington's Bentall Business Park and invested more than £1 million in new 180, 500, 800 and 1,300 tonne injection moulding presses and overhead robotic equipment.
Additional contracts with new and existing customers, including a recent £3million contract with a company specialising in domestic and commercial heating, has led the company to make a strategic decision to merge its Hartlepool and Blyth Omega Plastics sites into one, larger facility.
The new 45,000 sq ft unit on the Team Valley Trading Estate will provide more than double the capacity of the existing sites combined, as well as offer much needed space for future growth.
"Following the investment in our larger site in Washington, we were able to streamline our workloads to create dedicated sites for our three key customer sectors," said group managing director Dave Crone.
"Resulting from a combination of strategic and organic growth, we decided that now was the time to merge our two Omega Plastics facilities into a much larger single facility in Team Valley in order to support and strengthen our current customer base and allow the business to expand further, more efficiently.
"The decision to merge the two sites has not been taken lightly and has been made with the full backing of our 120-strong workforce following a detailed period of consultation.
"The new Team Valley facility will provide us with exactly what we need, more space and an ideal location in close proximity to main transport links from which to grow the business. The move also has an added element of sentimentality as we are moving back into the building the business was first founded in back in 1998.
"Where previously, the business occupied just one 5,000 sq ft unit on the site, we now have the whole building. It feels like we’ve come full circle, with the business heading back home, bigger and more diverse than before."
The new site will also feature office space for all of the group’s sales, marketing, technical and administration staff, as well as a new clean room facility for handling delicate, precision controlled manufacturing work for the healthcare sector, will enable Omega Plastics to operate more efficiently and further expand into new areas of work, such as research and development, packaging and additional niche multi-use plastic products.
"We’re incredibly excited about the move and the future of the Group,” Dave added.
"This is the next step in what has been an incredibly exciting period, from acquiring Signal Plastics and the continued growth we are seeing from combining the first-class design, tooling, moulding and assembly of Omega Plastics with the specialist high volume moulding provided by Signal Plastics.
"A team of dedicated contractors are hard at work already to make the site ready and we will look to start transferring assets across within the coming weeks."