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Nearly 30 high paying jobs head to Martinsville

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MARTINSVILLE (WSLS10) - Hardide Coatings opened its newest production facility in Martinsville.

The plant will add nearly 30 jobs over the next three years.

The jobs are expected to pay well above the area's average wage.

Plans for Hardide's $7 million expansion were announced January, 2015.

The full release is below:

Hardide Coatings opens new US production facility in Virginia

 MARTINSVILLE, Va - Hardide Coatings, Inc., the United Kingdom-based provider of advanced surface coating technology, announces the opening of its new Virginia production facility.  In January 2015 the company commenced an investment of up to $7million in Martinsville to expand its production operations to North America.  The new facility is expected to create up to 29 jobs over the next three years.

This expansion has been driven by increased demand from North American customers, with sales to the US and Canada more than doubling during 2015. The 26,000 square foot facility in Martinsville-Henry County, will service existing and new customers for the company's patented range of hard wearing tungsten carbide coatings in the oil and gas and flow control markets. In addition, the company also plans to expand in the aerospace and advanced engineering sectors and develop applications for its newly-patented coating for diamonds.

Philip Kirkham, CEO of Hardide plc said: "Having a local production facility in North America will support the increased demand from existing customers and significantly boost opportunities to expand provision of our coatings throughout the region. We have installed two large capacity chemical vapor deposition (CVD) coating reactors and work is already progressing well on some very exciting customer trials. I would like thank all in Martinsville-Henry County and Virginia Economic Development departments for their help and assistance, and in particular Governor McAuliffe and Secretary Jones for their personal support in helping to get this project underway in Martinsville."

"I congratulate Hardide Coatings on the opening of its Virginia manufacturing facility in Martinsville," said Governor McAuliffe.  "Growing jobs in the advanced manufacturing sector is a large part of our efforts to build a new Virginia economy, and these jobs will pay well above the average prevailing wage in a region that needs them. We welcome the company to Virginia and Henry County and look forward to a long partnership with the Commonwealth."

"We welcome Hardide Coatings to our community," said Mark Heath, President & CEO of the Martinsville-Henry County Economic Development Corporation (EDC).  "Their presence here strengthens our growing aerospace sector and demonstrates that our community is a great place for business from all across the globe."

"We are excited to have Hardide Coatings among our growing list of international companies," said Tim Hall, Henry County Administrator.  "The Henry County Board of Supervisors was glad to partner with the EDC, our friends in Richmond, and Hardide Coatings to make this opening a reality."

The first two senior employees at the facility, Jamey Ewing, coatings supervisor and Barry Farmer, pre-treatment supervisor, spent 12 weeks during the summer in the UK at the company's head office and main production site in Bicester, Oxfordshire, being trained on the Hardide coating production processes and techniques. They returned to Virginia in September 2015 to assist with the installation and commissioning of the process, production and quality control equipment.

"Production for North American customers, currently being carried out in the UK, will be gradually transferred to Virginia on a case-by-case and phased basis, taking load and capacity of both sites into consideration," continued Mr Kirkham. "We have also invested in an ultra-fast broadband cable between the UK and US sites enabling both facilities to operate on the same fast, secure network."

The range of Hardide coatings are highly abrasion, erosion, corrosion and chemical resistant while also being tough, ductile and impact resistant.  Applied by chemical vapor deposition (CVD), the process can not only coat external, but also internal surfaces and complex shapes.  The coating technology is proven to offer dramatic improvements in component life, delivering cost savings to customers through reduced downtime and increased operational efficiency.

Hardide Coatings, Inc. is part of Hardide plc (AIM:HDD) which is listed on the London Stock Exchange and based in Bicester, Oxfordshire, UK.