A TYNE Valley electronic design specialist has benefited from funding designed to back innovative solutions to local environmental challenges.

Evolto, based in Haltwhistle, is an innovative design house specialising in electronics, firmware and software, robotics and motion control.

The company was chosen by the business support organisation The Water Hub for a sum of the £120,000 it received in funding from the North East Local Enterprise Partnership and its partners.

Ruth Hawkin of Evolto, said: “Our association with The Water Hub has been crucial in giving us the confidence to pursue the idea of developing our own product, babble - a remote river monitoring device.

“They have supported us with technical and scientific advice, made introductions to key people in the water industry, and most importantly, supported us with our application for the ERDF funded Intensive Industrial Innovation Programme.”

Evolto’s successful application to this programme has meant it was now able to sponsor Alex Osborne, a full-time Phd student from Durham University, who is working to validate the team's approach.

By bringing together the water industry and local businesses on environmental projects, The Water Hub has provided direct support to 54 organisations through collaborations, research development, and business support.

It is estimated that this work has resulted in a boost of more than £1.7m for the local economy.

George Gerring of The Water Hub and senior operations officer for the Environment Agency, praised the ongoing work throughout the region.

He said: “This is a global calling card to show investors that the North-East of England is open for business, and to demonstrate what the region has to offer as a vibrant and ambitious place to develop new water and environmentally centred products.”