A North-East company is preparing to be the first firm in seven years to manufacture washing machines in the UK.
County Durham-based Ebac expects the very first models to start rolling off the production line this time next year.
According to a report by The Northern Echo, the company was founded in 1973 by John Elliott and currently makes dehumidifiers and water coolers. But the operation will soon be expanded to include the manufacture of domestic appliances, with a maximum capacity of 100,000 units.
Ebac already employs close to 200 people in the area and that number is expected to double as a result of the investment in washing machine manufacturing.
The Regional Growth Fund has invested £1m in the project and it is hoped that a further £6 can be secured from private investors.
Sedgefield MP Phil Wilson visited the site this week for an update on the project.
He told the newspaper: "It is a terrific example of how a great business is run. John has put a lot of foresight into what happens at Ebac, he is always thinking ahead, and is the kind of industrialist the North-East needs."