North East employer Banks Mining has extended its investment in the regional supply chain by bringing in a Northumberland engineering firm to help keep the machines at its Shotton surface mine running as efficiently as possible.

Family-owned Banks has added Linden Fluid Power, which specialises in custom-built hydraulic cylinder manufacture, maintenance, repair and design, to its selective strategic supply chain.

The Cramlington-based firm is working across the whole of Banks Mining’s diverse fleet of heavy plant, construction and ancillary equipment at the Shotton surface mine, which ranges from Land Rovers and HGVs through to 100-tonne off-highway dump trucks and excavators.

The Linden team is now supporting Banks’ plant team with maintenance and repairs solutions on hydraulic cylinders which can be up to several tonnes in weight, and works either on site at Shotton or at its own premises on the South Nelson Industrial Estate.

Linden Fluid Power works predominantly with clients across the North East, but also has live contracts in Aberdeen and the south of England, and employs an 11-strong team in Cramlington.

Kevin Hays, managing director at Linden Fluid Power, says: “Having Banks on the doorstep is brilliant for our business – it’s easy for us to get together in person to identify and agree on what’s required, which helps us control how, when and where work can be done and ensure it is carried out to the required standards.

“We’re working very closely with the Shotton plant team to ensure everything is being done as efficiently as possible and are very supportive of Banks’ approach to ensuring UK industry can secure supplies of coal from the UK rather than bringing it halfway across the world at a higher cost of greenhouse gas emissions.”

Family-owned Banks Mining has been working in South East Northumberland for the last four decades, and contributes around £35m to the regional economy every year from the Shotton and nearby Brenkley Lane sites through wages, investments and the local supply chain.

The County-Durham headquartered firm also provides more than £400,000 in annual business rates to Northumberland County Council and Newcastle City Council through the two projects.

Banks Mining is currently awaiting a decision by the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government on whether its planned Highthorn surface mine in Northumberland can go ahead.

Gavin Styles, managing director at Banks Mining, adds: “We have been investing in Northumberland for the last four decades and are proud of our long track record of creating local employment and supply chain opportunities in the county.

“Having the expert Linden team so close by makes a huge difference to the ways in which we can work, and the opportunities for face-to-face communication around managing mechanical issues means they can generally be resolved quickly and efficiently.

“Working with local suppliers is a key pillar of our development with care ethos and are proud to be working with quality North East businesses like Linden.

“Having high quality and pro-active support from their team helps us to remain competitive against coal imports, which emit much higher greenhouse gas emissions compared to supply from our sites in North East England.”