Case Studies

Council Provides Low Rent Units

A BUSINESS that started with a small unit on the council’s Daniel Street Industrial Estate in Whitworth has been so successful it now has four.

Simtek was founded 18 years ago by Technical Director Jay Simkins and wife Commercial Director Ginny Simkins when they began renting a small corner unit on the Rossendale Borough Council industrial estate.

The business soon outgrew Unit 1 and took over adjacent Unit 2. More recently it expanded into Unit 3 and now also has Unit 18.

Altogether Simtek employs seven people including Daughter Holly.

The business soon outgrew Unit 1 and took over adjacent Unit 2. More recently it expanded into Unit 3 and now also has Unit 18.

Simtek employs seven people including Commercial Director Ginny Simkins, Jay’s wife, and their 19-year-old daughter Holly who is Quality Control Officer.

Jay said: “We design electrical systems for racing vehicles and specialist vehicles. We design everything from ABS systems right through to tiny modules.”

“It is all about functionality and that is the reason we went into electronics. The units are used for manufacture as well as storage.”

Simtek’s clients range from owner drivers who are weekend racers to track day people who enjoy motor sport but are not seeking medals.

They also manufacture for Lotus, Power Torque Engineering, Motor and Diesel, XLR8 (Mini Challenge), and many more.

They built all the Bowler off Road electrical systems up until Land Rover became involved but were also involved with development project linked with Land Rover Jaguar. At one point there were 43 harnesses of theirs in cars competing in the Paris-Dakar Rally, out of about 160 cars in just one year’s competitors.

Jay said: “Our biggest customer is BAC, who recently moved from Cheshire to Liverpool.

“They make formula racing cars that are road legal and we helped to create the wiring harness and all the electronic systems for the Mono, a single-seater racing car.”

Although the industrial estate is the furthest point from both the M66 and M62, being just off Market Street, customers never have difficulty in locating it.

Jay said: “The units are brilliant because we can do what we want with them, so there is no problem with knocking one into another, so long as when we leave we put them all back to how they were originally.

“When we ran out of space and were waiting to expand into another unit, the council allowed us to put a container on the site. This provided us with extra room until a unit became available – a lot of landlords would not have allowed that. As long as you pre-agree any reasonable alteration with the Council, it is usually quite amenable to it.

“The rents are also very reasonable for the size of premises and that is important because we are in a very competitive market. If we have had any issues then the council has sorted them out quickly.”