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MP visits booming Kirkby high-tech business

Ashfield MP Gloria De Piero chats with managing director Stephen Cotton, left, and sales manager Ben Williams, during her visit to Brightwake in Kirkby.

Ashfield MP Gloria De Piero chats with managing director Stephen Cotton, left, and sales manager Ben Williams, during her visit to Brightwake in Kirkby.

Ashfield MP Gloria De Piero said she is ‘proud’ that ground-breaking medical technology that could revolutionise the medical industry is being developed in Kirkby.

Gloria went on a guided tour of Brightwake Ltd, on Lowmoor Business Park, off Lowmoor Road, on Friday, meeting staff and seeing the firm’s high-tech production facilities and research and development centre in action.

Since being formed in 1979, the company has developed an expertise in textiles and textile construction and provides inventive solutions to companies servicing the professional medical, cosmetic, industrial, retail and aviation industries.

It employs around 190 people and has doubled its turnover and the size of its workforce in the past three years, defying the economic downturn.

Trials are also about to start of Hemosep, the pioneering device it has developed in partnership with the University of Strathclyde. This captures blood spilled during major surgery, cleans it and then returns it to the patient.

This process, known as autotransfusion, reduces the volume of donor blood required and the problems associated with transfusion reaction and is set to transform the way major surgery is carried out.

Clinical trials of the device will take place in several English hospitals and interest is already growing significantly in other parts of the world.

Said Gloria: “It was a brilliant visit and utterly fascinating to see ground-breaking medical products being designed and manufactured right in front of my eyes by highly-skilled local employees in Kirkby.

“I’m really proud that we have such an innovative business based here, but we need to make sure they are also given the support they need by Government so they can continue be successful.”

Steve Cotton, Brightwake’s Development Director, said: “We are delighted that we have had an opportunity to share our progress with our local MP, who is very supportive of what we are trying to achieve in Ashfield.

“It is important to us that we have been able to create new jobs locally. These are exciting times at Brightwake. The development of Hemosep is now opening up further opportunities – both in the UK and globally – raising the prospect of more growth in the near future.”

 

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