STAFF at a Cross Hills company have gone back to the classroom in celebration as the firm chalks-up 25 years in the village.


Airedale Chemical is marking the anniversary by launching a partnership with Sutton Community Primary School.


Pupils are having their science lessons brought to life with a day of experiments at the company’s Skipton Road base.


And laboratory technician Madeleine Lofthouse visited year-four youngsters, who are currently studying ‘living things’ as part of the national science curriculum.


She outlined how her career in science began, answered questions about what it’s like to work in chemistry and encouraged pupils to consider following STEM subjects later in their academic lives.


David Horton, the school’s year-four teacher and head of STEM subjects, said: “It was fantastic for the children to hear first-hand about what it is really like to work in a science-related career.


“They were fascinated by how chemicals are used in everyday life and they were full of questions for Madeleine.”


During a day trip by the youngsters to the Airedale Chemical site, the company’s team of chemists will oversee a series of experiments – including growing crystals and a ‘blubber test’ to demonstrate how animals keep warm.


Daniel Marr, head of marketing at Airedale Chemical, said he was delighted at the new partnership.


“We’ve been operating in Cross Hills for a quarter of a century and thought this would be the perfect way to celebrate the relationship we are building with our communities,” he added.


“We have some fantastic facilities here at the site and a team of experts with decades of experience between them, so it’s great to be able to share that with children from the area and hopefully inspire the next generation of chemists.”


Airedale Chemical was established in 1973.


Formerly based at Cottingley, it expanded to its Cross Hills site under the late chairman and founder, Brian Chadwick.


The move was aimed at accommodating growing demand from its textiles customers, to whom it supplied dyes as well as a n expanding portfolio of industrial chemicals.


Today, the firm – which has a 135-strong workforce – is recognised as one of the fastest-growing chemical manufacturers.


It supplies industries including food and drink, manufacturing, brewing, agriculture, dairy and water treatment.


Its accredited manufacturing plant facilitates operations such as mixing, blending, chemical reaction and product development.