Skip to content

Business & Economy

Hartlepool’s TMD Friction looks to grow after £2 million investment

A vehicle brake pad maker is accelerating growth plans after securing investment worth more than £2 million.

TMD Friction says it will scale up production to meet global demand following support from its parent company.

Officials say the backing will help the firm, based on Hartlepool’s Oakesway Trading Estate, make around 120,000 parts every week this year while providing foundations to build on its near 450-strong workforce.

The investment has included a £450,000 outlay on a new paint line and £250,000 on new air compressors, with further cash spent on upskilling workers, updating software and changes to make its plant COVID-19-safe.

David Baines, chief executive at TMD Friction – which makes brake pads for 95 per cent of models across Europe’s aftermarket, including emergency services vehicles – said its North East base will continue growing thanks to the financial support.

He said: “The Hartlepool site has grown massively in the past 12 months, despite the coronavirus pandemic, and we now have the broadest capabilities in the group at Hartlepool.

“In fact, the chances are that if you are changing the brake pads on your car, they will have been made in Hartlepool,” said David, revealing the firm’s North East factory helped introduce 52 new products over the last year.

He added: “To build on that, and really establish this facility as a global centre of excellence, the group has committed significant investment, which will support the continued scale up of production.

“Alongside that, we are investing in our existing workforce and bringing new talent into the business, which will help us achieve the ambitious plans we’ve put in place for the current financial year.”

Tom Russell, UK operations manager, praised the dedication of the company’s workforce over the last year.

He added: “As a team we’ve shown real resilience, and as a result, only six days of production time were lost during the pandemic – six days where we closed and worked around the clock to get production areas COVID-19-safe.

“Since then, production has been significantly upscaled and we’re now making more of the product range here at Hartlepool than anywhere else in the world.

“That’s something we’re incredibly proud of and credit has to go to our staff – they have worked tirelessly to ensure we’re consistently meeting production targets.”