A SEVEN-FIGURE sum has been invested in new equipment to create jobs and keep an award-winning Sunderland factory ahead of the field.
The company, which manufactures flexible packaging for bakery and snack food products hopes the new £1.5m investment in its Sunderland plant and the jobs created will help maintain and improve their reputation for excellence.
The Interflex Group, based at Sunderland Enterprise Park, was a recent winner of the 2018 FlexoTech Awards for best use of process colours on the Nestle Aero Chocolate Bubbles print design.
Graham Tilley, managing director, said: “We were delighted that MAKE it Sunderland, Sunderland City Council’s business investment team, could advise and support us.
“The new equipment increases capacity and further develops our capabilities in performance packaging and sustainable solutions.
“The business continues to grow, providing quality products to our customers and increasing our scale and scope.
“At the same time, our workforce has increased by more than 20 per cent over the last seven years.”
Interflex is a business which has a £48m turnover in the UK with operations in Sunderland in England and Dalkeith in Scotland.
It serves blue-chip customers such as food giants Mars, Nestle and Warburtons and is now looking forward to delivering a better service than ever with the strategic investment in Sunderland.
Based in the USA, with its headquarters in North Carolina, Interflex is a global business with a continuing commitment to the UK arm of its operation.
The newly-announced £1.5m investment means that the current workforce of 140 in Sunderland will expand.
Interflex manufactures flexible packaging for food, household products and pet food markets helping to prolong shelf life, and over the past few years developing alternative solutions to meet the needs for more sustainable packaging solutions.
It is believed the new investment in Sunderland could lift the volume of output by 20 percent.
Cllr Graeme Miller, leader of Sunderland City Council, said: “Interflex is one of those ‘quiet’ success stories that rarely hit the headlines but make a major contribution to the city’s economy through investment and jobs.
“It’s great news that the business is thriving in Sunderland. Interflex’s continued investment in the city and its workforce we hope will help it go from strength to strength.”
And the business’ expansion is good news for Sunderland, which has ambitious plans to grow and diversify its manufacturing base.
It’s a vision that is being realised through the development of the International Advanced Manufacturing Park (IAMP), something Sunderland City Council is delivering in partnership with South Tyneside Council and Henry Boot Developments, and it expects to attract a range of advanced manufacturing businesses spanning aerospace, rail, automotive, automation and offshore among others. All of this adds to a £1.5bn public-private sector investment programme, that is transforming Sunderland’s landscape and economy.