A NORTH Yorkshire company has used its overseas contacts to be able to supply vital equipment to protect UK workers.

Electronics Direct, in Sheriff Hutton, has provided more than 250,000 face masks to clients, along with electronic components for customers, including ventilator manufacturers.

The specialist sourcing company which imports and exports globally has remained busy during the pandemic and has even recruited staff.

Craig Hopwood, managing director, said: "Some of our Chinese suppliers were offering us masks which we didn't have any requirements for at the time. Some of our clients were asking if we could get them.

"They are not the ones the NHS used so we weren't taking stock away from the vital supply chain.

"We have been supplying companies with masks around the UK and overseas. They are still selling very well. We are making a tiny margin just to help our customers who need them for their manufacturing processes.

"We have sold 250,000 to date.We have about 200,000. Once they have gone that might be the end of it unless our customers still require them.

"If anyone still needs masks, we would be willing to contribute."

Masks have gone to rail companies and the Freight Transport Associations among others.

Craig, who has 30 employees, said they had decided to stay open as their customers included manufacturers of ventilators who had been approached about making them.

"We did a lot of work in supplying them with components," he said,

"We are pleased to all be busy and have not furloughed any of the team, with more than 50 per cent of the company now working remotely and new measures in place throughout the building to keep our team safe.

"Our core business of electronic component sourcing and supplying is still busy with over 90 per cent of our customers still manufacturing. Some customers have even brought schedules forward and we have even needed to recruit two new team members during the pandemic.”

He added: "Our industry is slightly quieter but still quite buoyant. We are really pleased we have continued to employ everyone. I am remaining positive. I do hope and think that a vast amount of our industry will bounce back.

"Where I can, I will keep everyone fully employed. It is about adapting to the circumstances."