Airedale-externa-2

Airedale-internal

Above: The factory now nearing completion on fit-out and, top, the company begins to move back in

UK: Airedale International will be fully operational from its redeveloped Rawdon facility by January 4, the Leeds-based cooling systems manufacturer has announced.

The factory, on a site which the company has occupied since 1979, was hit by a devastating fire in September 2013. With the help of its staff and support from customers the business quickly recovered by relocating to a number of temporary facilities in the Leeds area while the old building was demolished and redeveloped. 

Over the course of the last few months production has been moved back to the facility on a phased basis, ahead of the official handover from the contractor, BAM Construct UK, this Friday, December 18. The 100-strong administrative team remains at the firm’s interim home but will start the New Year from the new facility, completing the relocation.

Originally a mill operated by L J Booth, Airedale acquired the site in 1979, gradually extending the layout including the addition of an extension which was opened by HRH the Duchess of Kent in 1984. With an approximate area of 22,000m², the new facility occupies broadly the same footprint but is designed around the needs of a modern manufacturing business. Together with the significant investment in new capital equipment, Airedale will enjoy even greater efficiencies in operation.

The facility also includes a state-of-the-art research and development facility which, with the capacity to test systems of up to 2MW, is believed to be one of the largest of its kind in northern Europe. A wide range of temperatures and voltages can be applied when testing systems, replicating divergent global conditions under which units are likely to operate when exported to their final destination.

Managing director, Clive Parkman, said: “After a year where we celebrated further awards successes for innovation in both product development and service delivery, we fully expect 2016 to mark another landmark in Airedale’s history. Our on-going R&D programme will see us continue to set the bar for the development of high efficiency, high performance systems and solutions and we’re targeting new geographical and vertical markets to supplement our existing base.

“With more than 600 people employed by the group in the UK, South Africa and Dubai, jobs and livelihoods depended on our ability to overcome the significant challenges that faced us in September 2013. I would like to thank our workforce, customers and suppliers for their loyalty to the business.”