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Sheffield City Region

Case Study: Wilson Benesch

Published: January 2013

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Left to right: Christina Milnes, Managing Director of Wilson Benesch Ltd, Ian Howson of Finance Yorkshire and Craig Milnes, Design Director at Wilson Benesch

The Company

Wilson Benesch, based in Sheffield, manufactures high end audio loudspeakers and turntables for domestic and professional use.

The company employs 17 highly trained employees and is regarded as a world-class innovator in its field. The majority of its products are exported to more than 30 countries.

Craig Milnes, Wilson Benesch Design Director, said: “We are unique in this field in that we have a fully integrated design and manufacturing capability in both metals and advanced carbon fibre composites. From the research and development to the manufacturing - it is all done in Sheffield.

“The level of control that we have ensures that we can consistently produce components and finished products of the highest quality.”

The Challenge

Wilson Benesch began developing the Cardinal Loudspeaker around four years ago.

Craig said: “Since its foundation in 1989, Wilson Benesch has continually pushed the boundaries of audio product design and manufacture.

 “We are in the global market for extreme precision, high end audio performance. The Cardinal is the ultimate in sound technology and appeals to high net worth customers with a discerning eye for aesthetics as well as engineering.”

The Solution

The plant and equipment required to create the systems for the Cardinal are very expensive and so the company approached Finance Yorkshire who provided a £50,000 Business Loan which enabled the company to introduce a raft of new technologies and buy specialist tooling equipment to develop the Cardinal, which retails in the UK at £54,950.

The Investment Rationale

Ian Howson, Finance Yorkshire Investment Manager, said: “Wilson Benesch’s application was successful as their portfolio proves it is an innovative company at the forefront of products and procedures.

“It is a global niche brand with numerous export markets and it continues to grow whilst promoting Sheffield as the home of manufacturing on a world-wide scale. The investment has allowed the firm to remain in control of how its ground-braking product is produced."

Future Expectations

The Cardinal is the most advanced loudspeaker ever developed by Wilson Benesch. Measuring more than 6ft tall and weighing more than 130 kilos, the design is composed of high precision machine alloys and state of the art carbon fibre based advanced composites.

The Finance Yorkshire investment has also helped the company to take on another engineer who has recently graduated with a first from Sheffield Hallam University and an apprentice Carbon Composites Technician. Six more orders for the Cardinal have now come in from across the world, including Russia and Singapore.

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Editors Notes…

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