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Business & Economy

Barrier Ex to create 50 jobs after securing £700,000 grant

Barrier Ex Ltd, a supplier of solutions for hazardous environments, has been awarded a six-figure research and development grant to support the creation of a pioneering new product.

The Wallsend-based company, which is a member of energy sector business development organisation NOF, hopes that the grant will also allow them to create up to 50 new jobs over the next five years.

The Smart Grants funding of £700,000 will go towards a 26-month research and development project with the aim of designing a novel data communication system integrated within lighting units.

The final product will be a new type of floodlight that can transmit wireless networking signals in challenging environments, which would significantly improve the efficiency of equipment asset monitoring and control in hazardous locations.

The project is due to begin in early 2020 and is forecast to generate sales of more than £50 million over the first five years after the product is brought to market.

A previous grant from Innovate UK grant allowed Barrier Ex to start an 18-month project in October, supporting the creation of a number of new positions in research and development and manufacturing, and effectively doubling their workforce.

Steven Lee, managing director at Barrier Ex, commented: “In collaboration with our business partners PureLifi, Digital Catapult and Safecility UK we are delighted to have been awarded a full grant from Innovate UK for the Hazardous Area wireless network project.

“Our technical director Tony Oram with the excellent support of North Tyneside Council, has submitted a first class bid and secured funding that will create new jobs and continue to support the development of genuine world leading innovations in North Tyneside.”

George Rafferty, chief executive of NOF, added: “The innovation that exists within the NOF membership is exceptional and the developments companies like Barrier Ex are making to improve operations, safety and efficiency are outstanding.

“This is a very interesting project that will deliver a brilliant solution for hazardous area operations, which will improve productivity enabling the use of more technologies in these specialist locations.”

Norma Redfearn CBE, elected mayor of North Tyneside, said: “I am delighted that the project is happening in North Tyneside and creating new jobs in the local area.

“It’s great that their application for funding has proved successful, particularly as I understand they were up against a great deal of competition.”