A PIONEERING Keighley company is marking a milestone.

Fibreline, in Hard Ings Road, is celebrating its 40th anniversary.

A party was held earlier this month at Cougar Park, home of Keighley Cougars – a stone's throw from the firm's Victoria Park Mills base.

Fibreline – which was founded and spent its formative years at Marley Mills, in Marley Street, Keighley – pioneered the use of polyester fibre in the UK furniture industry.

Now it has grown to be the largest, independently-owned upholstery cushion fillings manufacturer in the UK.

Its products provide the comfort in over 5,000 sofas a week, and the interiors for a large range of seat and back cushions.

The company moved to its current site – which was once a factory making Waddington's playing cards, but had been empty for a number of years – in the early 1990s, to allow for continued growth.

As part of that expansion, it diversified into feather and foam cushion fillings and acquired neighbouring sites in the 2000s.

Its acquisitions to provide extra space included Albion Mills in 2005, and seven years later alterations were carried out to create a separate 'goods outwards' area and nine loading bays in Royd Ings Avenue.

Over the years the firm, which supplies the UK furniture manufacturing industry, has continued to be at the forefront of its sector.

In 2003 it became one of the first foam convertors to install a fully integrated cutting line. And in 2010, the firm developed Encore Fibre – the first product in its award-winning Encore cushion range.

By 2015 it had introduced a process involving robotic drilling of foam components, and four years later a robotic fabrication line using 3D scanning technology – both firsts for the industry.

Managing director, Richard Prudhoe, says: "I am very proud that over 40 years, Fibreline has led the way in innovation in the upholstery filling industry.

"We have proved that a combination of traditional textile skills, with investment in the latest technology, can be the winning formula to grow a family-run business.

"We are now working on innovations to take us through to our half century!"

Following its continued growth, the company now employs 210 people – including assembly and packing workers, skilled sewing machinists, CNC operators, warehouse and distribution staff, and administration and supervisory employees.

And the firm provides a range of training and upskilling through apprenticeships and in-house development programmes.