Dräger Safety UK, a maker of medical and safety technology, has opened a new multimillion-pound manufacturing facility in Gateshead.
The new site, which will produce FFP3 face masks to fulfil a Government contract to supply UK manufactured PPE for frontline workers, is Dräger’s second site in the region. The company’s other site, located at Blyth in Northumberland, manufactures a range of safety equipment.
Malcolm Irving, head of the global supply chain safety division at Dräger, said: “We’re very proud to officially open this new manufacturing facility in Gateshead. The production lines are now operational, and the first orders have been delivered to NHS hospitals.
“The new site has established a sustainable UK-production base to manufacture high volumes and to provide a long-term solution for the supply of high protection FFP masks for our NHS workforce and other front-line workers.”
Complying with lockdown regulations, the site was opened virtually by councillor Michael Hood, the mayor of Gateshead and attended online by Rainer Klug, Dräger executive board member for safety division and other members of the Dräger Safety UK team.
Dräger worked closely with local representatives, including the Academic Health Science Network for the North East and North Cumbria (AHSN NENC), to secure the order and with Gateshead Council to acquire the new site.
Health minister Jo Churchill said: “We have been working tirelessly to deliver PPE throughout the pandemic, with around 32 billion items ordered and over 7.3 billion items delivered to the frontline.
“This represents another significant milestone in establishing a UK PPE manufacturing industry to help us continue this vital work and build a more resilient supply chain in the future.”
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