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Romec secures major order.

Byline: By Rebekah Ashby

Manufacturer Romec has sealed one of the most important contracts in its 15-year history - almost doubling its workforce on Tyneside.

The company, which is based at Longbenton, Newcastle, has secured a pounds 10.7m order to supply new mailroom equipment for Royal Mail.

Romec, which is a joint venture company owned 51pc by the postal service and 49pc by construction firm Balfour Beatty, said it will take on 38 new workers at its Longbenton plant to cope with demand.

The business, which specialises in manufacturing equipment for the postal sector, says the contract will create almost a year's turnover in six months. Romec, which will double its workforce to 74 and also has a plant in Lancing, Sussex, where it is creating four jobs, has introduced seven-day working to cope with the contract.

Romec production manager Kevin Fowles said: "This is one of the most important orders we have received and it's for high security boxes and sorting equipment for letters and parcels.

"This is wonderful news at a time when we are in a very tough manufacturing market so it gives us a bit of leeway.

"This is a high value order with an extremely stretching deadline which allows us to do more in the way of turnover than we wouldn't normally have had.

"In fact it's almost a year's worth of turnover in six months. We have needed to take on sheet metal workers, welders, assembly staff and powder coating staff and we have filled 31 of the 38 vacancies."

A variety of equipment from high security postal pouch boxes and multi-use trolleys to hundreds of specialised stools and seats are being manufactured as part of the contract.

Romec, whose group is one of the UK's leading providers of facilities management services and employs 5,000 around the country, also works for Jersey Post, Norwegian Post and the British Postal Forces Overseas.

Mr Fowles said: "The UK's postal system is held in the very highest regard around the world and we have built on that reputation as a core strength.

"We are now chasing work from all aspects of the group, including Balfour Beatty, and not only in the UK.

"We are looking at new markets in Southern Ireland, the British Virgin Islands and France because there is only so much kit you can provide in the UK."
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Title Annotation:Business Local
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Mar 17, 2004
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