ONE of the UK’s leading manufacturers and International distributors of bearings, power transmission and motion transfer linkage products is expanding into the North East following a £2.2m investment.
Dunlop BTL, supplies its products to original equipment manufacturers in the engineering, industrial, automotive and agricultural market sectors and via a network of authorised distributors, and has been awarded a £250,000 Let’s Grow RGF grant to enable it to expand into the former KP crisps factory in Consett, County Durham, creating around 35 new jobs.
The firm, which is based in Ashford, Kent, was established in 1991 and has seen rapid growth in recent years, including significant export growth. Turnover is set to increase by over 50% with a focus on exports which will treble after the expansion.
Dunlop plans to see its new premises at No 1 Industrial Estate – the one time home of Phileas Fogg snacks – become its main European manufacturing and distribution centre, producing approximately 50 per cent of its products, while other items are produced from in factories from around the world.
The company’s four year plan will see it grow from 70 to over 100 jobs with 60 staff being based at Consett by the end of 2019.
Ray Mifsud, Managing Director, said: “Dunlop BTL Ltd is proud to be a UK manufacturer supplying to some of the world’s most prestigious original equipment manufacturers.
“The grant has enabled us to move to a new level within our industry, we are now ideally placed to increase our manufacturing capabilities and expand our customer base not just in the UK but around the world.
“Our building purchase gives much needed space from which to grow, we can add to our skill set by employing local people and expanding our knowledge. With a globally recognised brand name such as Dunlop the opportunities facing our company are endless.”
Business Durham, the economic development company for County Durham, worked closely with Dunlop, visiting it in Kent to help it put together its grant application. It looks forward to working with it to help it recruit key skills and introduce it to local supply chains and other significant organisations.
Simon Goon, managing director of Business Durham, said: “We’re delighted to welcome a forward looking member of the engineering and automotive supply chain to the North East. We’ve long thought that there are significant opportunities in the North for companies in this sector and Dunlop BTL’s decision bears this out. The move will provide logistical advantages and proximity to some of its key customers.
“Dunlop BTL has been a pleasure to work with and I am sure that it will continue to thrive.”