An international sports brand has pledged to continue investing in the North East after taking on two new members of staff and expanding its office space.

Dunlop Sports relocated its UK office to Darlington’s Lingfield Point in 2017, after it was sold by Sports Direct to Japan’s Sumitomo Rubber Industries for $137.5million.

And now, the new owner is focused on investing heavily in the business and its players, tournaments and marketing to ensure it’s recognised as the number one tennis and rackets brand.

As a result, the company has just doubled the size of its offices at Lingfield House, Lingfield Point, to accommodate its growing sales and marketing team.

Steve Heatley, UK sales manager, said: “Since taking over from Sports Direct, Sumitomo’s investment has really allowed us to focus on growing the brand and making it great again.

“We looked at various business parks in Darlington and Stockton and Lingfield Point seemed to have the most to offer in terms of how it could support our business – the facilities are great, there’s plenty of meeting rooms and the building itself is particularly impressive.

“Lingfield Point was certainly the most flexible and accommodating in trying to meet our needs and so we were delighted to be able to expand here.”

Steve’s clients range from major high street sports retailers including Sports Direct to the UK’s leading specialist racket retailers.

He added: “Our European head office is in Eindhoven in Holland and the direct flights from Teesside to Amsterdam daily were a big factor in us choosing to base our business here.”

Eddie Humphries, estates manager at Linfield Point, said: “It’s great to see a global business like Dunlop committing to Darlington and its expansion here at Lingfield Point highlights confidence in the North East as a great place to do business.

“We’re proud of being a business park with a difference, offering an excellent location and accessibility along with great customer service.

“We wish Steve and the team every success as they continue to grow and expand.”