Wheel future in Chippenham in engineering

This Is Wiltshire: Managing director Chris Shelley with a range of wheels.                  (PM1162) Paul Morris Managing director Chris Shelley with a range of wheels. (PM1162) Paul Morris

A Chippenham firm is leading the way in manufacturing lightweight racing wheels, after the business was pulled back from the brink four years ago.

Teenagers who could be future engineers visited Dymag on Bumpers Farm last month to learn about the use of carbon fibre in manufacturing.

After being rescued from receivership in 2010, Dymag is making wheels for top flight motorcycle teams and has just invented a carbon fibre cycle wheel range.

The group of ten 14 and 15-year-olds from Bristol, who were there as part of the Future Brunels programme to inspire the next generation of innovators, tried making their own carbon fibre moulds.

When former employee Chris Shelley heard the company had gone into liquidation, he bought it and secured the original wheel moulds, as well as the services of some of the original staff. They had designed and built wheels for Formula 1, Rally, Superbike, GP Moto and Isle of Man TT champions, including Brazilian Formula 1 champion Ayrton Senna.

Managing director Mr Shelley said: “Dymag set the benchmark in the 1970s when we were the first company to manufacture carbon fibre wheels for both motorcycle and high performance cars. So I’m delighted and proud to be hosting the next generation of British engineers who I hope we can inspire.”

His board includes chairman Bob Dover, who is former chairman and CEO of Jaguar and Aston Martin.

Chippenham MP Duncan Hames also went along to meet the West’s next generation of engineers.

He said: “It’s great to see a local entrepreneur encouraging such enthusiasm for science and technology among these secondary school pupils.

“Advanced engineering, like that developed at Dymag, has long been key to Britain’s economic success, and will continue to be so in the future.

“We need more engineers, and I’m encouraging young people, particularly young women, to consider a career in engineering.”

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