Stoke-on-Trent-based Therser UK secured the contract for the manufacture and installation of a new, 48-metre fast-fire tunnel kiln.

The new kiln forms part of an ongoing investment programme at Churchill, also based in Stoke-on-Trent, which is looking to increase production of its high-performance hospitality tableware.

Therser’s latest contract comes as the company marks its milestone 10th year in business this year.

Managing director Neil Mack said: “We are very proud to win this contract with a large, successful Stoke-on-Trent company like Churchill.

“We are the largest kiln manufacturer in the UK and to secure an order like this at the beginning of our 10th year in business is fantastic.

“We have come a long way in 10 years, and I am proud of what we have managed to achieve in such a short time.

“We already have plans in place for further expansion and continued growth of our company over next 10 years.”

He added: “We have expanded quite a bit over the last six months due to the work we have already got, but this project will lengthen our already busy order book and will mean we will be in a position to create new apprenticeships and employ some further members of staff.”