Veteran balloonist to start building again in Shropshire
Per Lindstrand, the adventurer famous for the first crossing of the Atlantic in a hot air balloon (with Sir Richard Branson), has announced plans to start manufacturing hot air balloons again.
He will be bringing balloon making back to his Oswestry factory, following a break from the trade that has lasted some 12 years.
Lindstrand’s new operation, Lindstrand Balloons, will be based at the Maesbury Road Industrial Estate in the Shropshire town, and is expected to bring some 20 new jobs to the area in time.
The 66-year-old Swede said:
“There has been lots of interest from around the world.
“We will be selling commercial balloons again and expect to be delivering them by mid-October.”
The new Lindstrand commercial venture was announced at a French ballooning festival. A team from the Oswestry factory travelled over and launched a large balloon sporting a photograph of their entrepreneurial boss, and the caption “He’s back”.
Lindstrand was also reported singing the praises of Oswestry as a base for his new venture. He recalled first visiting in 1978 when it was, as he saw it, suffering from a lack of opportunity. Nowadays, he believes the town is flourishing, has all that he needs, and is “a good place to have a business”.
Lindstrand certainly has a track record of literally aiming high in the case of hot air balloons. His hot air balloon altitude record, when he ascended 20,000 metres in 1988, was held unchallenged for 16 years.