Granitexpress has set out plans to expand and create new jobs after investing over £300,000 in new equipment and moving from Teesside to Sunderland.

The firm is one of the region’s leading suppliers of high quality granite and quartz worktops, which are manufactured in the North East. It is now looking for skilled, experienced workers to meet demand from customers and continue its growth.

After seven years in Middlesbrough, the business recently took the strategic decision to relocate to Sunderland as part of its plans for future growth across the UK.

The move coincided with over £300,000 worth of investment in new equipment to support its expansion, and the creation of two new jobs. Its relocation was fully supported by Sunderland City Council’s business investment team.

All of the existing staff were retained as the business took up its new home at Echo House, Pennywell – which was chosen for logistical and environmental reasons.

As well as cutting its carbon footprint, with less journey time for many of its staff who live closer to Sunderland, its proximity to the A19 will enable it to better service regions to the  west, north and south.

Over the next two years, the business aims to target new opportunities in Yorkshire, Lancashire, Cumbria, Cheshire and the Midlands and to deepen its market penetration in Northumberland, Tyne and Wear, County Durham and the Tees Valley, creating new jobs in the process.

Managing director Michael Pearson said: “The move to Sunderland suits us very well. Logistically, Sunderland is close enough to the A19 to easily serve Tees Valley and North Yorkshire, where we have long-established customers. It also opens up great access to Cumbria, Tyne and Wear and Northumberland, bringing us much closer to all these key markets.

“We’re very grateful to the city council’s business investment team, who gave us first class advice and support throughout the move, allowing us to set up smoothly and quickly in Sunderland.”

Irene Lucas CBE, chief executive of Sunderland City Council, said: “We’re delighted to welcome Granitexpress to Sunderland and support its ongoing expansion. Its investment in Sunderland underlines the city’s status as an ideal place for ambitious businesses, with great transport links, a rich pool of talent and a fantastic quality of life for staff.”

Granitexpress makes solid surface worktops with high quality materials from across the globe, using both advanced CNC machinery and traditional hand-finishing skills.

While predominantly made for the kitchen and bathroom markets, its products can also be found in commercial and leisure settings and as part of special installations, such as executive offices, bars, pubs and a range of high-end clubs.

For more information or to find out more about the jobs on offer visit www.granitexpress.co.uk.