New accolade ‘a huge achievement’ for firm reborn after devastating blaze

Airedale Springs chairman Tim Parkinson with some of the items made by the Haworth factory

Airedale Springs chairman Tim Parkinson with some of the items made by the Haworth factory

First published in News Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Photograph of the Author by

An award-winning company threatened with extinction following a ferocious blaze four years ago has received another accolade.

Airedale Springs’ former Ebor Mills factory in Haworth was razed to the ground in the inferno, putting the firm’s future in jeopardy.

But the company moved into new £3.5 million premises in the village in 2012.

And now it has been named as a runner-up in the coveted Yorkshire/North East Regional Manufacturing Excellence (MX) Awards.

Airedale Springs chairman Tim Parkinson had carried out an online assessment audit through the MX Awards scheme, which is run by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers to support UK manufacturers and help them achieve greater productivity and international competitiveness. But the honour came out of the blue.

“I hadn’t planned to enter the company for an award when I filled out the assessment, and it was a complete surprise when I heard we’d been shortlisted – more so when we learned we were a runner-up,” said Mr Parkinson.

“Getting down to the final three was a huge achievement for the company.

“It has been a tough few years for our business following the devastating fire in 2010, and the award is a real testament to the commitment and determination of our staff to successfully rebuild our business and client base.”

He said the rigorous assessment process and resultant report were invaluable, and he urges other small and medium enterprises to consider applying.

“Our family-run business has been manufacturing bespoke springs for nearly 70 years – based around technical expertise and excellent customer service,” added Mr Parkinson.

“As an SME constantly striving for improvement, the MX Awards programme has provided us with highly useful benchmarking support and innovative new ideas.

“To other companies that think they are doing a good job, I would certainly advise them to get measured up against bigger organisations to see how they compare. Like us, they may be pleasantly surprised!”

Last year, Airedale Springs was runner-up in the environmental efficiency category of the EEF Future Manufacturing Awards and won the Environmentally Friendly Business of the Year title at the inaugural Keighley Business Awards.

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