Case Study - Filtronic

Manufacturing company Filtronic Broadband Limited, which operates from NETPark in Sedgefield, is undertaking an extensive expansion project which will create at least 36 new jobs.

Filtronic Broadband Staff on Microscope

The project is to significantly bolster the company’s manufacturing and testing facilities to create additional capacity.

Around £1m is being committed to the project, which will enable the company to increase its capacity significantly and win contracts with other customers, leading to accelerated growth.

The company’s products are used in mobile wireless communication equipment, point-to-point communication systems and adjacent markets including defence. Customers include mobile telecommunication and defence OEMs as well as large companies operating from within Silicon Valley in the USA.

The investment by Filtronic, which is being supported by the County Durham Growth Fund, will allow the company to produce large volumes of its products to win larger contracts with some of world’s most established telecommunications firms.

Filtronic Chief Financial Officer Michael Tyerman said: “The way we communicate is changing dramatically and with the increased growth in traffic expected from 5G, network capacity has to be improved.

“In order to address this challenge, we have invested significant R&D activity in developing a number of E-band products which can deliver high performance at a competitive cost, which have understandably attracted interest from a number of potential new customers.

“Now, thanks to our own capital investment and the fantastic support we’ve had from the County Durham Growth Fund, we have been able to expand our manufacturing and testing facilities, allowing us to produce in larger quantities which will enable us to win work with other companies, accelerating our plans for growth.”

The County Durham Growth Fund, which has recently been boosted with a further £4m to continue to support businesses in the area, is jointly managed by Business Durham and UMi with funding through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). All successful grant applications are appraised by UNW LLP, an independent firm of Chartered Accountants and Business Advisers.

Sarah Slaven, Interim Managing Director of Business Durham, said: “The support we have given to Filtronic has not only led to the creation of 36 new jobs and significant expansion at the company’s NETPark facility, but also demonstrates the diversity of the fund to support companies across a broad range of sectors in our area.”

Simon Allen, Service and Investment Director at UMi, said: “Filtronic is a fast-growing, hugely ambitious company which, thanks to the investment committed by the County Durham Growth Fund, has been able to roll out expansion plans which will cement its continued growth in County Durham for many years to come.”

John Healey, Corporate Finance Partner at UNW LLP, said: “It is encouraging to see an innovative technology company be supported by the County Durham Growth Fund to create new jobs and increase its capacity.”