Global manufacturer Dräger has set up and established a brand-new manufacturing facility in Gateshead thanks to expert advice from law firm Ward Hadaway's Built Environment specialists.
The move had to be fast tracked following a significant order to supply respiratory protection masks (FFP3) to the NHS in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and has created up to 40 new jobs.
The family-owned business manufactures medical and safety technology products all over the world. It has been delivering respiratory protection technology for firefighters and industry from its current North East-based facility at Blyth Riverside Business Park in Northumberland for over 50 years.
The German company has moved into a new 43,498ft2 facility at Follingsby Park after securing a long-term contract with the NHS. It demonstrates their commitment to continue to invest in the North East by increasing production and creating new jobs.
With the UK now in its third national lockdown, demand for respiratory protection masks to protect NHS frontline workers has significantly increased over recent weeks.
Dräger engaged Ward Hadaway to provide expertise and advice on all legal matters including the acquisition of the new facility.
Simon Errington and Holly Vevers from Ward Hadaway’s Real Estate Team worked to tight timescales to enable Dräger to increase production of FFP3 masks so that they could be despatched to UK hospitals as quickly as possible. The company has recently appointed a brand-new team of production supervisors and operators.
Malcolm Irving, Head of Global Supply Chain Safety Division at Dräger said: “We were very pleased to secure this major order from the British government. It gives us the opportunity to expand our international production network of FFP masks.
“Moving into this new production facility enables us to deliver this contract and create new jobs at the same time. Due to the global pandemic and the impact on the UK economy, jobs are difficult to find at the moment, so we are delighted to be able to play our part in creating employment opportunities for local people.
“Dräger operates a highly responsive manufacturing system for certified FFP respiratory masks and we needed this additional space quickly so we could start production, protect our frontline NHS workers and save lives. We engaged the services of Ward Hadaway to provide legal advice who were very responsive and supportive in helping us to secure the lease on the new building which enabled us to move in and operate.”
Holly Vevers said: “We were instructed by Dräger to negotiate the lease so they could scale up and expand their production facility in extremely tight timescales."
Simon Errington added: “It’s great to see a global firm securing a national government contract choosing to invest in the North East, which will help our frontline workers and create new jobs. This is particularly encouraging in the current economic climate and with all eyes on the impact that Brexit may have. We successfully completed the acquisition in quick time for them to start production with immediate effect.”