Calne firm’s bright ideas earns south west recognition

This Is Wiltshire: Linear Guidance Illumination owner John King Linear Guidance Illumination owner John King

John King is hoping that winning a business competition will help his firm grow worldwide.

Mr King, owner and director of Linear Guidance Illumination (LGI), beat more than 75 companies across the South West to win the Born Global competition and a prize of £25,000 worth of international business support and marketing.

LGI was set up ten years ago and growth had been somewhat slow as Mr King said its products were ahead of their time. Since last year, sales have increased.

The company designs and produces a wide range of illumination and LED systems for extreme environments and its main customers are the emergency services and the military in the UK and abroad.

One of its products, Waysafe, resembles a small cable drum except the cable is illuminated as it has rechargeable batteries inside. If the cable is cut, everything connected to the drum will stay alight.

Mr King, a mechanical engineer by background, said: “When we started the business we had a product that was too early for the marketplace. We were offering solutions to problems people didn’t know they had. It took a long time and it was almost an education process.

Mr King said: “We appointed a salesman on a part-time basis early last year and he has made a huge difference. We have been setting up distributors worldwide.”

The company was based in Devizes but moved to larger premises on Four Brooks Business Park in Calne last November.

It employs four staff and Mr King said he hoped to take on one or two more employees by the end of 2014.

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