Engineering firm springs forward thanks to LEP investment


A grant from the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has enabled family engineering business Airedale Springs to recruit new apprentices for the first time since a fire devastated the company’s former headquarters.

The Haworth-based business has been awarded a grant from the LEP’s Business Growth Programme, which is supported by the government’s Regional Growth Fund. The £20,000 grant has helped the business to purchase state-of-the-art machinery and employ two new apprentices from the local area.

Airedale Springs, a leading spring and wire form manufacturer with 32 staff, has invested more than £105,000 alongside the grant to expand its product range.

The company, which supplies a range of products used in all areas of manufacturing and engineering including valves, bicycles and light fittings in both the UK and overseas, has bounced back following a blaze that destroyed its former base in a Victorian mill in Haworth in 2010.

Since moving into a new purpose built factory nearby in May 2012 Airedale Springs has invested £2m in the latest spring and wire forming machines to enable the company to win new contracts.

Tim Parkinson, chairman of Airedale Springs and the third generation to run the business, said the latest investment would help the company to achieve its growth targets.

Mr Parkinson said: “The LEP grant has been vital in allowing Airedale Springs to purchase a large computer controlled spring coiling machine, capable of producing springs with a wire diameter of up to 10mm.

Previously springs of this size were made by hand which involved multiple operations to be completed. The new machine has reduced overall production times by more than 50 per cent which is making a significant and positive difference to our business.”

Roger Marsh, Chair of the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership, said: “Airedale Springs has used the positives of a potential disaster as an opportunity to refocus and grow the business. It is particularly pleasing that Airedale Springs is investing in apprenticeships that are giving talented young people a career in a skilled field and we are delighted to have also assisted with this through our own Apprenticeship Programme.”

Leader of Bradford Council, Coun David Green, said: "One of Bradford Council's major priorities is boosting the skills of the local workforce so it is good to see this Haworth firm benefit from the Business Growth Programme and take on some new apprentices.

"Our initiatives, along with Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership, are really making a difference and continues to result in the further regeneration of our city."

Mr Parkinson added: “This investment is a continuation of our growth plans developed in 2012 to provide our customers with a wide range of the latest equipment for the production of springs and wire forms in a modern and environmentally friendly production facility. As we celebrate our 70th anniversary in 2015, the addition of our new apprentices has helped bolster our highly skilled staff and is a further commitment to the future of the business.”

The LEP is hosting an event for businesses in the Leeds City Region to find out what finance is available to support their growth plans. For more information or to register for the event visit: