A cable firm has exclusively revealed plans which could bring a huge boost to Hartlepool.
JDR Cables has a five-year strategy which includes expanding its capacity for renewable power cables and adding a dedicated new facility for subsea production umbilicals.
Chief operating officer Richard Turner said: “Our expansion opens up new markets for us and allows us to access very large projects worldwide. It could change the landscape of JDR’s order book.”
The existing 200+-strong workforce has been bolstered by 20 recruits this year who have been employed on a flexible basis, but could join the firm permanently.
Mr Turner added: “There are plans are to maintain steady growth in 2016; we are have been successful in winning some large projects and are bidding for many more.”
Mr Turner said there were plans for “growth, development and expansion in 2017 and beyond”.
It opens up a whole new market for us and we would be able to access very large projects worldwide. It could change the whole landscape of JDR’s orders and we have already recruited more peopleRichard Turner, Chief Operating Officer at JDR
He added: “Despite the oil and gas market being difficult, we are still very successful due to our broad product range and unique technology.
“We maintain high aspirations to grow the business.”
JDR, which supplies cables, umbilicals and services for a number of industries, has expanded from 97,000 sq ft of warehouse space in 2008, to more than 280,000 sq ft now.
The latest investment has seen JDR taking up the option of an extra third building at its site on Hartlepool’s dockland.
It covers 80,000 sq ft and will be used for a machine to make cables and umbilcals to the highest specifications in steel and thermoplastic.
The beauty of all of JDR’s machinery is its flexibility; it doesn’t matter which industry is growing – gas, oil or renewables – it is flexible enough to meet the demands of the entire subsea energy industry.
And on top of that, the firm is also hoping to train up a new generation of skilled workers in Hartlepool by setting up a brand new world-class training centre.
Mr Turner added: “It is at the early concept stage but we would look to open a training academy on site which would train people in technical skills, to work for us and to work offshore supporting our customers during installation and field operation.
“It is far from finalised but there is a very clear intent on our behalf to develop a world-class training facility and we are working with a number of local partners to develop this further.
“We are very proud with what we have already done in Hartlepool. It is a great place to be positioned.
“It has got the infrastructure and there is space to grow, and most of all there is a fantastic workforce”