Compound Photonics buys Newton Aycliffe RFMD factory

RFMD factory in Newton Aycliffe
Image caption RF Micro Devices decided to leave the Newton Aycliffe site in December

About 80 jobs at a closure-threatened County Durham factory have been saved after a buyer was found.

US-based RF Micro Devices (RFMD) announced it was ending production at its Newton Aycliffe plant in March, leaving 200 staff at risk.

Compound Photonics has now bought the plant and will employ 78 RFMD staff still working at the site when the deal was completed, Durham County Council said.

The firm hopes to create 200 new jobs.

Compound Photonics manufactures projectors for mobile phones and home entertainment systems.

Its president Jonathan Sachs said: "The high-level skills of the workforce, the growing electronics cluster and the quality of the research in Durham University in our area of technology were major reasons behind our decision to locate here."

RFMD had made semi-conductors for mobile phones since 2008 before switching production back to the US to save £13m a year.

More than 100 staff lost their jobs as a result of the move but 78 staff were retained to satisfy existing customer orders.

Durham County Council said those staff had now seen their employment transferred to Compound Photonics.

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