An automation technology company is celebrating 20 years of business in the UK.

Swindon-based BFT Automation, originally founded in Italy in 1981, opened its first UK branch in 2004 in the north of England.

In the same year, the company joined the Somfy Group - a global leader in automation products for gates, garages, awnings, blinds and smart home solutions.

The company now has two distribution centres with training facilities in Swindon and Stockport, employing more than 35 people.

Matthew Batson, the sales operations director in the UK, was one of the first employees at BFT and is one of three original staff members still working at the company.

He said: "We are so proud and feel privileged to celebrate 20 years’ industry success and being part of the Somfy Group."

Reflecting on his time at the company, he added: "Looking back to 2004, it was a very exciting time.

"We were part of something brand new, knowing that although we were only a small team of five, we had the full backing and support of a global brand.

"We are also looking forward to introducing our installers to our next generation of new products, designed exclusively by BFT.”