Established six years ago, AR Controls currently employs 37 people and uses robotics and automation to supply production engineering services to automotive OEMs such as Nissan and Jaguar Land Rover.
The new premises will allow the business to expand on current services and help increase headcount to around 45-50 staff in the next 12-18 months. The 12,000ft2 unit is located on Sunderland’s Sunrise Enterprise Park.
AR has agreed a lease on the new premises and plans to fully acquire the property within 18 months, adding to its existing estate which includes its 18,000ft2 headquarters (also at Sunrise Enterprise Park) and a further base in North Hylton.
AR has open working partnerships with some of the world’s leading automation companies in sensing, position control, visual inspection, machine safety, auto-ident, robotics, drives and programmable logic control. The company delivers productivity and quality improvements to its customers’ processes, while also driving down costs and reducing risk.
Andrew Ramsey, managing director of AR Controls, said: “Despite many negative projections about the UK’s automotive manufacturing sector, the growth our business has seen over the last two years is incredibly positive and I’m tremendously excited about the future.
“We work with some of the world’s leading automation suppliers in sensing, position control, visual inspection, machine safety, audio-indent, robotics, drives and programmable logic control, and we employ a safety first, design and development philosophy.
“Our sustained growth has given us added confidence to continue building and developing the business and I’m delighted to have completed the lease with the option to buy these new premises, which will help us to continue our trajectory of expansion.”
The company was assisted in its negotiations by commercial property lawyers at North East law firm Muckle LLP.
“The practical legal advice we received from Muckle also made a major difference in successfully negotiating this deal and it is encouraging to know we have a law firm on our doorstep that is sophisticated enough to support our objectives and ambition,” added Mr Ramsey.
Giles McCourt, associate in Muckle LLP’s Real Estate team, added: “AR Controls is a highly innovative business and their creativity, confidence and commitment to the region has been rewarded by increased demand for its market leading services.
“As a commercial lawyer, who lives in Sunderland and works for a law firm that is passionate about the region’s businesses and its economy, it’s fantastic to see such a dynamic North East company making its mark in the automotive manufacturing tech sector.”