Silsden company extends its global reach

Keighley News: Advanced Actuators managing director, Chris Woodhead, at the Silsden engineering firm’s plant Advanced Actuators managing director, Chris Woodhead, at the Silsden engineering firm’s plant

A Silsden engineering firm seeing strong demand for both its manufacturing and distribution operations is continuing to put down roots in key overseas markets to help it win more business.

Advanced Actuators Ltd achieved a 40 per cent increase in turnover last year to about £3 million, and expects that to grow to £4 million during 2014 as it focuses on the oil and gas and power generation sectors.

This year will see about 90 per cent of three types of electrohydraulic actuators for the oil and gas, power generation, mining and quarrying and steel industries exported, either directly or via UK customers.

Advanced Actuators moved from 3,000 sq ft premises in the centre of Bradford to a 17,000 sq ft purpose-built building in Silsden after outgrowing its previous premises. It was officially opened in 2012 by the then Lord Mayor of London, Bradford-born Sir David Wootton.

The company now has 29 employees and has recently appointed a general manager in the Middle East, has a distributor in India and is planning to appoint others in Malaysia and Iraq, as well as working within government guidelines to develop prospects in Iran as political relations with the country soften.

Managing director, Chris Woodhead, has just returned from India, and was due to fly to China this week, where the company is looking to clinch its first order and become a regular supplier to an oil and gas contractor. He will also travel to Germany in a few weeks to discuss prospects there.

To support Advanced Actuators’ expansion plans, Lee Ellerton was promoted to engineering director and Graham Coulton production director. Mr Woodhead expects another three or four staff will be needed in Silsden, and the firm is also using two University of Bradford post-graduate engineers on new product development.

Mr Woodhead said: “Lee and Graham’s strategic involvement with the business means I can take on a greater role expanding the Advanced Actuators portfolio in the Middle East and the Far East, which is where we anticipate a further 20 per cent growth in 2014.

“While our 2012-13 financial year was exceptional, we secured 80 per cent of last year’s turnover just one month into our new financial year. This is a significant growth period for Advanced Actuators, and we anticipate further job creation at home and overseas, in the coming months.”

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