A SPECIALIST engineering firm is set to almost double in size after it announced a major investment programme.

Croft Associates, which specialises in the design, development and licensing of containers used for transporting radioactive waste materials, is creating 20 new jobs and expanding its premises based at the Culham Science Centre.

Chief executive Clive Beattie said: “We are in an exciting period of transition and growth.

“Over the last couple of years we have made significant investment in research and development to pursue new market opportunities.

“This financing will help us deliver our new container designs which are a cost efficient solution to the huge problem of long term nuclear waste storage in the UK.”

In recent years Croft, which currently employs 24 staff, has developed shielded container designs for the long-term storage of nuclear intermediate level waste material.

It will transform Croft into a significant supplier to both Sellafield and Magnox.

The company has secured an undisclosed amount of funding through its bank, Santander.

Darren Hart, head of growth capital at Santander UK, said: “Croft Associates has an excellent market position and successful client relationships which have been cultivated over 30 years and will continue to grow. Innovation is the key to the business and our investment will ensure that Croft remains ahead of its UK and global competitors.”