Entirely Tech


Thursday July 4 2019

The Rise Of Airedale Springs - Chairman's Insight

The Rise Of Airedale Springs - Chairman's Insight

As a family-run spring manufacturer with over 70 years of experience, Airedale Springs has a rich history designing, developing and producing high-quality springs.

Tim Parkinson, the Chairman, has taken the Company to a whole new level. His personal journey through the Company showcases just how much he’s helped Airedale Springs grow, including during adverse times, such as when a factory fire in 2010 left them without a production facility.

Tim’s many accomplishments include being an active member of the UK Spring Research Association for 30 years and being personally responsible for the creation of the National Training Standards for Spring Manufacture for Level 2 Apprenticeships. He is also the current Chairman of the Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering Advisory Board at Keighley College and represents Airedale Springs as a member of the Engineering Employers Federation in various positions.

From implementing high-quality processes to ensuring his employees get the right balance between work and family life, Tim Parkinson has helped Airedale Springs to achieve a reputation for excellence in everything they do.

Humble Beginnings

Despite Tim’s grandfather, Gordon Parkinson forming Airedale Springs in 1945, Tim initially wanted to pursue a career away from spring manufacturing. But the draw of keeping working within the family-run business eventually saw him end up working for the Company in 1979.

He said: “Although my grandfather started the business in 1945, I never intended to work for the Company, as I always wanted to be an engineer and not necessarily make springs.

“However, I joined the Company in 1979 after completing a traditional engineering apprenticeship at an engineering company in Keighley. I applied for a job as a tooling engineer before moving to a specialised production department and, from that point, worked in most departments.”

Tim has worked within the Company for almost 40 years now and, during that time, his longest tenure within one role came when he was Quality Manager; this role involved overseeing and implementing BS5750, which is now known as ISO 9001.

The experience Tim gained from working within almost all departments in the business was invaluable for when he became Chairman of Airedale Springs in 2000, the role he still proudly holds today. Having a working knowledge of all areas is extremely beneficial and is something that many companies’ Chairmen have never experienced. Being able to understand each department’s pain points has allowed Tim to focus on investing in departments which need new equipment or processes.

In his time at Airedale Springs, Tim has seen a whole host of employees join the Airedale Spring’s 25 Year Club. The Company currently has an incredible 53 employees who reached the milestone of working within the business for 25 consecutive years. This achievement cannot be understated and is something Tim is particularly proud of.

When asked about why he believes so many employees stay with Airedale Springs for an extended period of time, he said: “With nearly 75 years of history, new employees can see how the older employees have developed and incorporated new technologies to tackle challenges. In turn, they pass their skills and experiences on to the next generation of engineers.

“While this is undoubtedly a challenge to maintain, it’s something we thrive on and take great pleasure in doing so.”

The Evolution of Airedale Springs

When a company has been running for as long as Airedale Springs have, one of the biggest challenges facing the spring manufacturer business is keeping up with the industry trends over the years. Many businesses have fallen foul of being stuck in their ways and have been left behind by those who are open to continually evolve along with the industry.

During Tim’s time with the Company, he has seen Airedale Springs go through several periods of sustained change and, since becoming Chairman, he has continued to keep up with the ever-changing nature of the spring manufacturing industry.

Speaking of Airedale Springs’ commitment to modernising the business in a sustainable way, Tim said: “We aim to be a modern profitable business, utilising the investment in CNC technology with the skills of our employees, the majority of whom come from the Worth Valley and span several generations.”

Modernisation in terms of working practices and investment in new equipment can only get you so far though, as he added the need for working closely with clients was invaluable to the long-term sustainability of a business. Not only that but ensuring the well-being of the Company’s employees is also absolutely vital, as he went on to add: “We pride ourselves on our ability to work closely with our clients utilising our combined skills with our modern manufacturing facilities to produce high-quality products to customers specifications.

“We are a family and recognise the positive contribution this makes; however, we also recognise the need for family time and have worked hard over the years to obtain the right balance. We introduced flexible working in 1998 long before such ideas were fashionable.”

An Active Member Within the Local Engineering Community

Outside of his work at Airedale Springs, Tim is an active member within the spring and engineering community, as well as in local education.

Tim is an active member of the UK Spring Research Association and has been for the past 30 years. During this time, he has worked on various committees and is currently a director of the association.

In a bid to ensure young people have a route into spring manufacturing, Tim was personally responsible for the creation of the National Training Standards for Spring Manufacture for Level 2 Apprenticeships.

He is the current Chairman of the Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering Advisory Board at Keighley College. This board brings together engineering employers from the surrounding area to develop engineering provision for the district’s apprentices.

Finally, Tim represents Airedale Springs as a member of the Engineering Employers Federation in various positions, including Vice Chairman of the Regional Advisory Board of Yorkshire and the Humber.

"With nearly 75 years of history, new employees can see how the older employees have developed and incorporated new technologies to tackle challenges."
Tim Parkinson

DISCLAIMER: The statements, opinions, views and advice expressed in this article are those of the author/organisation and not of ENTIRELY. This article should represent information correct at the time of publication however whilst every care has been taken to present up-to-date and accurate information, we cannot guarantee that inaccuracies will not occur. ENTIRELY will not be held responsible for any claim, loss, damage or inconvenience caused as a result of any information within this article or any information accessed through this site. The content of any organisations websites which you link to from ENTIRELY are entirely out of the control of ENTIRELY, and you proceed at your own risk. These links are provided purely for your convenience and do not imply any endorsement of or association with any products, services, content, information or materials offered by or accessible to you at the organisations site.

Discover the best Industry News & Opinion on Entirely

Datamere Software Solutions

Datamere Software Solutions is an award-winning development company that offers a complete downstream package for gas suppliers. Established in 1998, Datamere created its market leading Gas Management System which offers a modular approach for portfolios of varying sizes.The company has also created bespoke software solutions for hospitality, healthcare and HR industries and is currently working on the development of GMS V4 and GENUS.


Founded in 1981, JMC IT is an award-winning IT support partner based in Agecroft, Salford.

The Config Team

The Config Team -SAP Logistics and Warehouse Management Specialists - was founded in 1994. With its head consultant office based in Skelmersdale, the successful solutions it has delivered to globally respected names give it a reputation as a leading authority in SAP Logistics implementation.

Kieron James


Kieron started his career as a Teacher before moving into the emerging market of web domain names sales in 1999. In 2005, he branched out into telecoms, founding Zimo,which won the industry's Service Provider of the Year Award in 2008. He went on to cofound Nexbridge, wich provides industry-leading telecoms services to communications providers and recently branched out into IP telephony services with the popular WHYPAY conferencing service which offers free conference calls to UK businesses.


Virtual PA HR Services

Behind every successful business owner, consultant or freelancer is a team of support staff making sure that everything runs like clockwork. I offer a range of support services that will help your business do just that.By using Virtuelle's professional, flexible and affordable business support, all the day-to-day things that take up your time and energy are taken care of, so you can concentrate on what really matters to you running and growing a successful business.


New partner at Clive Owen LLP in York

FCCA qualified Rob has more than 30 years experience in regional accountancy firms, specialising in audit, accounts, business planning and tax. As a Xero certified adviser, he has specific expertise in cloud accounting