Cheshire engineering company Cygnet Group is celebrating 40 years in business, at the end of a momentous year in which it won a Queen’s Award for Enterprise, saw the completion of a new 21,000 sq ft building and launched its new US headquarters.

The Northwich-based company was founded in 1974 at the home of engineer Colin Smith and his wife Janet, to provide machinery for the textile industry. Four decades on, their original Texkimp business is still a thriving part of Cygnet Group, which remains a family company under the leadership of their son Matthew Kimpton-Smith and employs over 100 people.

The business they founded is now a market leader in the worldwide fibre and fabric processing industry but still a staunchly British manufacturer – all its machines are still manufactured in the UK and over 95% of sales are made up of export to over 30 countries.

In 2006 Cygnet Group went on to create SECC Oil & Gas, which manufactures patented safety connectors for the subsea oil and gas market, and then in 2010 it founded its technical recruitment business, Perpetual Partnerships.

A pivotal 40th year

In April this year, Cygnet Group won a coveted Queen’s Award for Enterprise in recognition of its outstanding international sales growth.

This was followed in July by the launch of the company’s new US headquarters in Greenville, South Carolina, in a move to strengthen ties with its US customers and grow its share of the region’s textile and carbon fibre manufacturing markets.

Then in September the company took ownership of its newly constructed 21,000 sq ft machinery assembly, testing and warehousing facility in Wincham, Northwich, giving it the space to develop the next generation of its machines.

“Forty years on, our business is more dynamic and energetic than ever,” says Matthew Kimpton-Smith.

“Thanks to the skill and commitment of our staff, we are now embarking on what we anticipate will be some of the most exciting years in its life.

“Our success in identifying the high-potential niche markets around the world where our engineering capability and experience will prove indispensible has been central to our longevity and will be critical to our future.

“Fast-growing markets like high-grade carbon fibre manufacture, subsea well intervention and technical recruitment offer tremendous opportunities for us in the next five years if we continue to dedicate ourselves to providing true innovation and value to our customers’ businesses.”