Helical cuts ribbon on new multimillion pound tech centre

A Lancashire business that makes sophisticated engine and exhaust components for some of the world’s most famous vehicle brands has opened a new multimillion pound technical centre in Warton.

[caption id="attachment_24214" align="f-align-medium-right f-align-center" width="300"]L-R Yorkshire Bank's Andy Nurse with engineering director Charles Morris, managing Alistair Morris, and chief executive Tobias Morris L-R Yorkshire Bank's Andy Nurse with engineering director Charles Morris, MD Alistair Morris, and Tobias Morris[/caption]

Helical Technology’s purpose-built Warton Technical Centre comprises a 1,700 sq m test area, a 3,500 sq m prototype and manufacturing workshop, a drive-by noise test track and two-storey office facility.

The company, which also has operations in Lytham, will use the technical centre to develop new products, open up new markets and boost exports.

Helical’s growth has been backed by significant long term investment by Yorkshire Bank, including £2m of working capital funding to support the latest expansion.

Helical, which employs 175 staff, has seen UK and global turnovers grow to £24m and £40m respectively – increases of 30 per cent on pre-recession figures. The business expects revenue to rise by a further five per cent in 2013.

The business designs and manufactures actuators for turbochargers, and valve rotators for large diesel and gas engines, as well as actuated valves for automotive exhaust systems.

With established operations in China and India, the company is planning to enter the North American market and boasts a client list that includes Cummins, Caterpillar, JLR and Aston Martin. Helical Technology was founded in 1962 by chairman and Tobias’ grandfather, James Mills Morris. The family can trace its engineering roots back even further, as James is a descendent of Mathew William Mills, founding director of Ames Crosta Mills & Co,at Moss Iron Works, in Heywood, Lancashire, which dates back to 1825.