One of South Craven's biggest employers has been rescued from the "brink of disaster", securing 300 jobs.

A management buy-out at Transtechnology in Glusburn has turned around the company's fortunes and hopes are high that plans will create even more jobs and improve productivity.

As a result of the changes the company will now be known as Cirteq Ltd, an abbreviation of circlips, technology and quality.

The company currently has a £15 million turnover, manufacturing about one billion circlips a year and selling 4,000 product lines.

Precision engineering is needed to manufacture circlips, which are small metal circular clips predominantly used in the automotive industry in parts like the steering column, transmissions and braking systems.

New managing directors Vic Stevens and Andrew Crabtree said that only a couple of years ago the company was on the brink of disaster.

It was making substantial losses and there had been times when employees' jobs were insecure.

Ellison Holdings, producer of retaining rings and circlips, moved to Hayfield Mill in Glusburn in 1996.

In 1999 it was acquired by American company Transtechnology Corporation, which already owned Bingley firm Anderton International.

The two were merged onto the Glusburn site and became Transtechnology GB Ltd.

Transtechnology GB Ltd has been for sale since January 2001, with little interest being shown in it.

But following recent management intervention, the company is now looking more stable. Already it is showing a solid balance sheet, low level of debts and positive equity.

Mr Stevens said: "We are at a position where we can give the people who work here a positive outlook."

The turnaround has been attributed to the launch of operation Phoenix, a planned umbrella programme of improvements involving all departments. These include product quality and an increase in skilled and expert employees - many employees left during the 1999 takeover.

Mr Stevens said that before the buy-out the company had not been driven by quality and as a result business had suffered.

To make the business even more efficient he now also planned to reduce the company's costs to ensure its competitiveness.

Cirteq Limited is already one up on its competitors as it boasts the skills and equipment to manufacture a huge breadth of the industry's product line.

Directors hope to build on this foundation to attract more customers and cater for a whole range of clients' needs. It currently exports about two thirds of its business.

There are plans are in the company's strategy to work more closely with new car designers to ensure that when new components are required, Cirteq is first in line to produce them.