A firm honoured as the Bolton News’ “Company of the Year” has announced a major expansion.

Farnworth based Howorth Air Technology says that its new dedicated hub at Raven Locks in Little Hulton will act as a base for its design engineers.

The company has already hired 12 new members of staff for this division so far this year and say more could be set to join them.

Howorth pharma operations director Carlo Rava said: “We looked at ways to expand without taking up precious shopfloor space, and decided the best solution was to develop a hub where the design engineers could be based, with scope to expand further and train new recruits.

“As a result of our investment, we have freed up office space for other functions such as project management, marketing, technical documentation and service administration.

The Bolton News: Managing director Jim Liptrot at the Bolton News Business AwardsManaging director Jim Liptrot at the Bolton News Business Awards (Image: Kevin Feddy Media Ltd)

“We’ve also created client pods so visiting clients can have their own rooms during visits and acceptance testing for their equipment.

“So far this year, we’ve created a significant number of new positions in our pharma division and we are looking to recruit further, including for design engineering and project management roles.”

Howorth Air Technology picked up the accolade of “Company at the Year” at this year’s Bolton News Business Awards.

Managing director Jim Liptrot collected the award on behalf of the Farnworth company at an award ceremony hosted by comedian Shazia Mirza at the Bolton Whites Hotel last September.

Taking to the stage, he described the award as “a validation of everything that we stand for."

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The company designs, assembles and supplies containment equipment for the pharma industry, such as isolators and downflow booths, to create pure air working environments for the safe handling and processing of active pharmaceutical ingredients.

The Ravens Lock facility was first opened in 2021, when the pandemic meant that many people were working flexibly or from home.

But since then, the return to more normal working patterns has meant the company has needed more space.

The new hub houses Howorth’s team of mechanical design engineers and electrical, controls and instrumentation design engineers, and will also be used as a training suite.