James Sutcliffe, managing director, Sutcliffe Construction.
Nick Hill

Sutcliffe Construction builds carbon fibre research centre For Hope

Skipton-based construction company Sutcliffe Construction is building a £500k carbon fibre research and development centre for cycle component specialist Hope Technology.

Barnoldswick-based Hope Technology plans to develop its own UK-made carbon fibre components for high-performance cycles.

James Sutcliffe, managing director, Sutcliffe Construction, said: “This is an exciting project working with one of the area’s most exciting companies. Hope Technology is about precision engineering and finding clever solutions – and that’s what Sutcliffe Construction aims to bring to every job with our mission for building smart. It’s always great to be invited back to a site you are familiar with to develop it further. These are the kind of long-term relationships we like because we can add extra value.”

The build involves a complex reworking of the old North Light Mill that Sutcliffe Construction rebuilt in 1996 for another company.

New piled foundations are being built on the site located above a culvert and stream that will continue to be used to naturally cool the R&D centre. The new lab is part of the 89,000 sqft Hope Mill – a state-of-the-art facility that employs over 100 people and manufactures 65,000 bike components a year.

Ian Weatherill, co-founder, Hope Technology, commented: “Sutcliffe is absolutely dead easy to work with – they sort out every problem so we can just concentrate on what we like doing best which is messing about with bikes and gearing up to expand when the R&D centre is ready to open.”

Hope Technology, which will be hiring carbon fibre specialists to work in the lab, was launched in 1980 as a machining sub-contractor making tools and fixtures for local aerospace companies.

The firm eventually began making disc brakes for the newly developed mountain bike in 1989, and now it manufactures almost every major bicycle part - from hubs to lights - except for carbon fibre frames currently manufactured in China.

James added: “We work as active partners with clients providing design and build improvements based on a ‘value-engineering’ concept that can save them time and money. As well as principal contractors, we’re also steel-frame building specialists with a 3D-modelling team and our own steel fabrication plant in Hellifield that gives us total control on quality and delivery schedules – just like Hope Technology.”

Sutcliffe Construction works with leading architects and a growing number of multinationals including Fives Landis, Cawingredients, Aggregate Industries as well as well-known Yorkshire entities such as Green-tech and Giggleswick School. It built the iconic Ilkley Rugby Clubhouse.

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