Work has begun on expanding Osbit’s Northumberland-based headquarters to accommodate the company’s rapidly expanding workforce and facilitate an increase in demand for its engineering expertise in the offshore renewables and oil & gas markets. This comes after the award of grant funding from a programme designed to accelerate business growth and stimulate employment in rural communities in Northumberland, County Durham and Gateshead.
The company is constructing a new single-storey extension within the site of its head office in Riding Mill, Northumberland, to deliver an additional 300 square metres of working space. The new office will house multiple project teams within Osbit’s innovative engineering workforce, providing space for up to 50 additional staff.
The building project, which is due for completion in spring 2020, is being undertaken with support of a grant of £151,000 from the North East Rural Growth Network’s Rural Business Growth Fund (RBGF). Twelve new jobs will be created at Osbit as part of this development, with two new staff having already been hired.
Dr Tony Trapp MBE, Executive Chairman at Osbit Ltd, said: “The continued growth of our business in the oil & gas and offshore renewables markets, combined with our desire to attract and retain talented engineers, has created the need to expand our premises.
“The new space will create much needed additional capacity to support our expansion plans and project-centric working approach.
“Osbit is a unique place to work and our existing office is an important part of our company’s culture. I am delighted we are able to expand our premises and remain in this outstanding setting, with support from the North East Rural Growth Network.
We are very proud to be headquartered, operated and owned in Northumberland and to continue the North East of England’s legacy as a globally recognised hub for engineering excellence”.
Rural Growth Network Manager Katy McIntosh worked with the management team at Osbit to identify the rural grant funding opportunity and complete the successful grant application, “Investment in this project means that Osbit has the opportunity to remain at its current location by delivering the good quality accommodation that its market-driven expansion demands.
“The new space will give the team flexibility to accelerate growth, stimulating further job creation with 12 new jobs for local people, helping to ensure that our rural economy remains a great place to invest, work and grow.”
The existing office on the Riding Mill site, Broomhaugh House, has a strong heritage in North East England’s engineering history. Built in the 19th century, it was once the family house of the Swan family, co-founders of renowned local shipbuilders Swan Hunter. It was later home to The Engineering Business, which was founded by Osbit Executive Chairman, Dr Tony Trapp MBE.
The new extension is to be situated behind the existing Victorian building and will be connected via a corridor. To suit the office’s rural Tyne Valley setting, the building will feature timber cladding and slate roofing. A new courtyard will also be added, along with increased car parking spaces for staff.
Colin Bell, Business Growth Director at the North East LEP, said: “The North East Rural Growth Network funds are designed to offer support in exactly this type of situation, allowing a company to grow and create more jobs.
“The offshore sector is strategically important for the North East LEP area and will play an important role in helping to deliver the objectives in the Strategic Economic Plan which aims to create 100,000 more and better jobs by 2024. We’re looking forward to seeing Osbit flourish in its newly extended premises.”