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Per Lindstrand

CEO Message

I remember when I came to Oswestry in the late 1970s, it was a lot different than what it is now. The pound was crashing and there was no confidence in UK business. Just before Thatcher came to power there were weekly strikes – it was a mess. The whole of the UK was hit hard by the recession. Oswestry was a very depressed town at that time. It was what was known as an Assisted Area because it was depressed and there was high unemployment. People here were struggling with cost of items because of high rates of inflation. Park Hall army camp had gone, the railway repair works had closed down and there was high unemployment. John Biffen was MP at the time and he made sure his own constituency had Assisted Area status so it could get support from the government. I went to the Department of Industry and I asked where can I have a factory and I came here.

Setting up here worked out really well. Today Oswestry’s a very desirable area – it’s changed so dramatically for the better and now I think this town is a boom town. There are all sorts of nice restaurants, and good shops, and you can get what you need in Oswestry. It’s been a great town for the business. The workforce has been good over the years, the quality of the work has been excellent and the work ethic has remained strong here. I think the reason we’ve been able to retain the same staff for so long is because we make a very interesting product which is sold all over the world.

I was shocked to see my old company closed with plans to relocate all manufacture to Bristol. It was really saddening to hear that staff were suddenly made redundant after many years of service to a perfectly profitable company.  I am now determined to recommence hot air balloon manufacture after a 12-year gap to ensure the industry does not become monopolised. We have taken on eight staff this year for Lindstrand Technologies and will be taking on more staff with the balloon business. I’ve had an amazing response from local people since announcing the re-opening of the business and I know it can be a success. We have the best people here and the best quality here. There has been lots of interest from around the world and we are doing well.

What keeps me motivated is that I love aeronautics – it’s been my life – and I love business. I’m in a lucky position to be able to combine the two and be in control of my own company. I couldn’t enjoy it more than I already do.  How many people can say that?

– Per Lindstrand
Founder & CEO

Per Lindstrand in Château-d'Œx, Switzerland, January 2016
Per Lindstrand in Château-d'Œx, Switzerland, January 2016

“I am determined to recommence hot air balloon manufacture after a 12-year gap to ensure the industry does not become monopolised.”