Gateshead MP Ian Mearns is backing a local firm’s expansion drive after visiting its Team Valley operations.

Following a tour of Express Engineering’s six factory site, he said he felt sure the skills and commitment of the workforce and capability of equipment would help the business win work in new markets.

And he offered to help the company in any bids for government contracts – particularly defence – while supporting skills and training initiatives through his membership of the Back Bench Business and Education Committees.

He said:  “I have been hugely impressed by what I heard from the management team and saw on the factory floor and I feel sure that the skills and commitment which made the company such a success in the Oil and Gas sector will soon translate into contracts in other markets.”

Express Engineering, which has been operating for 45 years, is reskilling and realigning operations to compensate for the downturn in the oil and gas exploration and extraction sector.

An impressive array of hi-tech equipment – including a machine which is unique to the UK – can be programmed to produce precision engineered components for multiple uses.

With plans in place for new work in the industrial, aerospace and nuclear sectors, CEO John A Patterson said:  “We are much better positioned now to meet the challenges ahead with a more diverse approach. I am delighted that Ian could visit to see the progress we are making and we appreciate the support he has pledged.