World-leading stairlift manufacturer Stannah Group has signalled a healthy future for British manufacturing, as its 500,000th stairlift rolls off the manufacturing line.
The occasion was marked during a special visit to Stannah's Andover-based factory by HRH The Prince of Wales and the day became a celebration of the firm's success in building a leading global brand which carries the stamp of British industry to the four corners of the globe.
With an engineering heritage going back to 1867, Stannah now employs 1,500 people. Its stairlifts have successfully brought freedom and independence to thousands of elderly and disabled people, in 42 countries worldwide. In 2010, Stannah received its fourth Queen's Award for Enterprise.
The UK stairlift market has gone from strength to strength, as the elderly population increases and people seek solutions to help retain their independence. Today, the market's turnover is £150 million+, growing at an average of six percent per year for the last five years. Stannah's most recent results showed operating profit up a healthy 6.7%.
The Prince of Wales visited Stannah's headquarters to mark the manufacture of its 500,000th stairlift. There, he met the six members of the Stannah family who run the business and representatives from across company, including Field Repair Manager Martyn Channon, who was awarded a long-service award by The Prince of Wales, for 45 years work for Stannah Group.
Patrick Stannah, Group Director at Stannah Stairlifts, said: "Our business is, and has always been, founded on The Stannah Promise. It's about doing things well, making products we are proud of and growing the business in a responsible and ethical way. It is a great shame that Britain has lost many of the manufacturers which made it a leading force for industry. But today, I am proud to celebrate the enthusiasm and drive for engineering we see among the thousands of people who are part of Stannah. We prove that an independent, family-run firm has a place leading British industry - and that manufacturing is indeed alive and kicking."