�300,000 council investment enables international Fakenham firm which has made props for James Bond films to expand

A leading international company based in Fakenham which has provided props for James Bond films is expanding thanks to a �300,000 investment from North Norfolk District Council.

Despite the current economic climate JW Automarine is confident of a bright future and further growth.

The company is a leading international designer and fabricator of underwater lift bags, proof load test bags, special buoyancy products and flexible storage vessels for water and diesel.

JW Automarine operates from a district council-owned factory unit, on Enterprise Way.

The current unit of 1000m2 is unable to accommodate the company's expansion plans and so North Norfolk District Council is funding an extension that will increase the working area by a further 500m2.

The building work, to be undertaken by Chalcroft Ltd. of King's Lynn, started on January 30 and should be completed by the end of April.

JW Automarine will operate as normal throughout the contract period.

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District councillor for the Lancaster North ward in Fakenham, Annie Claussen-Reynolds, said: 'This agreement with JW Automarine is excellent news for Fakenham, supporting a successful and expanding company and bringing work for the construction industry at what is traditionally a lean time in the building trade.

'There is also the possibility of further jobs for the town in the comparatively near future. It is just what is needed!'

JW Automarine has taken on four trainees from the local area during the past two years in anticipation of the forthcoming expansion.

Managing director David Letts recognises that since there are no college training courses available for teaching radio frequency welding skills, the company has to invest in its future by employing apprentices and training them in-house, with one day per week at college in Norwich.

The company has been trading for 40 years and has a reputation for fast turn around of engineered plastic products for use in underwater salvage and float outs.

It has provided props for the James Bond films For Your Eyes Only and Casino Royale.

It has also worked for international diving and salvage contractors, aid agencies, armed forces, oil companies, fire fighters, forestry workers, farmers and sports divers amongst others.

Using the best materials available and a multi-skilled work force, all products are radio frequency welded and the factory has ISO9001:2008 accreditation.

The company also have invested recently in a computerised CNC cutting table which facilitates fast, accurate and repeatable cutting of component panels prior to welding and final assembly.

In addition to flexible and underwater lifting products JW Automarine have developed many bespoke products including lifeboat test bags, survival systems, Helium containment bags for use in the diving industry, Lockheed Submarine Ballast systems, sub-antarctic drill stabilising buoyancy units, freeboard enhancers for submarine rescue systems and zero gravity simulation bags for NASA

NNDC cabinet member for corporate assets, Wyndham Northam, said: 'It is really encouraging that we have a highly successful local company able to provide more jobs for local people at this time, and the council is delighted to be able to support this process.

'We are determined to support local trade and industry and this is an important investment in the economy of Fakenham and the economy of North Norfolk as a whole.

'It clearly demonstrates that as a council we are willing to invest to make things happen.'