Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen has visited the Hartlepool base of an innovative packaging firm which has made a £500,000 investment to help it produce tamper evident bags for coronavirus tests.
Coveris, which has 29 production facilities across the UK and Europe, manufactures flexible and sustainable packaging for a range of markets including food and drink, construction, agriculture and household items.
Its Hartlepool base, which employs 115 people, has recently grown thanks to a £500,000 investment in a cutting-edge bag making machine to produce branded bags for the Covid-19 testing kits, also allowing the firm to take on 20 new staff, including a new innovation engineer, and relay the factory to increase output.
The Mayor visited the site to cut the ribbon on the new custom-built LEMO machine and also learn about its other recent contract wins, including one to supply clothing brand Next with online bags and another with the Federal Reserve Bank in the US.
The firm is now looking at further investment in new technology for medical and diagnostic bags, and is considering the creation of a ‘clean room’ to produce sterile packaging.
Mayor Houchen said: “This new investment is a vote of confidence in our area and it has helped create more good-quality, well-paid jobs for the people of Hartlepool, as well as Teesside and Darlington.
“Coveris is just the latest example of a Hartlepool business going from strength to strength. Having secured work for household names like Next, the firm is innovating in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, and has employed local contractors for the changes it’s made on-site, ensuring the money it spends is kept right here in the region.
“It was fantastic to hear about Coveris’s efforts to further expand and work with more local businesses to provide them with their packaging, as well as its ambitious plans for the future.”
Andrew Wall, Managing Director of Coveris, said: “Over the last 18 months, our facility here in Hartlepool has played a critical role in the fight against COVID-19. Producing our specialist Intervoid® UltraSeal 95kPa sample bags for the NHS and other test partners, we have supported the safe collection and transportation of PCR tests. Having produced over 125 million covid test kit bags to date, today’s new investment sees us ramp up capacity to support increased demand for self-sampling kits in new markets for other healthcare and laboratory testing to support improved transportation and technology.”