L-R: Stuart Penny (High Force), Brian Archer (Business Durham), Janet Todd (NETPark), Cllr Carl Marshall and Roy Valentine (High Force)
L-R: Stuart Penny (High Force), Brian Archer (Business Durham), Janet Todd (NETPark), Cllr Carl Marshall and Roy Valentine (High Force)
Richard Bell

Chemicals innovator invests £500k in second lab facility at County Durham’s NETPark

County Durham chemical research firm High Force Research is expanding in the North East with a six-figure investment.

The company has opened a second base at the North East Technology Park (NETPark) in Sedgefield, where it spent £500k fitting out new lab and office space and acquiring analytical equipment.

High Force, a contract research organisation supporting product development in the chemicals, pharma, diagnostics and printed electronics industries, plans to increase its workforce to 40 employees by creating six new jobs.

Founded 30 years ago by three research chemists, the business has since grown organically from its HQ at Bowburn North Industrial Estate, near Durham.

Roy Valentine, chief executive at High Force, said: “Chemistry has many applications in different business areas.

“It’s a worldwide industry and 60% of our business is abroad.”

He continued: “Our work is not just purely pharmaceutical or biochemical as chemistry is a core platform technology for a lot of industries, such as advanced materials used in printable electronics and diagnostic reagents, which all need materials manufactured to high quality standards.”

NETPark is managed by economic development organisation Business Durham, which works on behalf of Durham County Council.

Cllr Carl Marshall, the authority’s Cabinet Member for Economic Regeneration, commented: “It’s a pleasure to welcome High Force to our NETPark site. High Force is a great example of a company, which started in County Durham, showing ambition and expanding their valuable North East workforce.

“Expansions like this prove we have the resources and tools available in the county to help support growing businesses.”

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