Balloonist to revive Oswestry factory

Lindstrand Technologies Ltd has announced that it will restart production at a Shropshire factory.

The move will restore 19 local jobs that were recently lost in the closure of renowned pilot Per Lindstrand’s former company, which manufactured hot air balloons and similar aerostats.

The well known Swedish explorer and balloonist started Lindstrand Balloons (originally named Colt Balloons) in Oswestry, Shropshire, in 1978. The firm was commended for its advanced testing and production facilities. It produced the hot air balloons for Lindstrand’s and Sir Richard Branson’s ground-breaking flights across the Atlantic and Pacific, as well as for their ill-fated attempts to circumnavigate the world by balloon.

In 2003, Bristol’s Cameron Balloons took control of the site, which continued to carry the Lindstrand brand. However, the parent firm recently announced that it would close the factory amid increasingly hard trading conditions, citing the strength of the pound as a reason for declining demand. Lindstrand was reportedly shocked on hearing about the closure, and he expressed regret about staff members suddenly losing their jobs after years of service. Many of these had worked with Lindstrand for over 30 years.

Lindstrand Technologies Ltd, which is also based in Oswestry, recently released a statement about the reopening:

“Once again Per Lindstrand’s visionary approach to balloon design and manufacturing will place Oswestry at the forefront of the industry. This will be a new balloon company dedicated to innovation without restriction.”

Lindstrand added that locals have responded well to his announcement to restart production, and he is optimistic about the factory’s future.

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