AN innovative global engineering company which was started in Gloucestershire 50 years ago is celebrating a historic milestone. 

Renishaw was founded by two former Rolls-Royce employees Sir David McMurtry and John Deer five decades ago on April 4, 1973 in Wotton near Dursley. 

The team's first product was the touch-trigger probe, which was invented by Sir David to solve an inspection requirement for the Olympus engines used in Concorde.

It has since grown into a global engineering giant, working on everything from aircraft, cars, smartphones, EV batteries, and solar panels to brain surgery and dentistry, as well as Team GB Olympic bikes

The company is also now Gloucestershire’s largest private sector employer with employees based at five sites – Charfield, New Mills (headquarters near Wotton-under-Edge), Old Town (in Wotton), Stonehouse and Woodchester. 

In total, the firm also employs around 5,000 people, operates in 37 countries and posted revenue of about £671m in the 2022 financial year.

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Renishaw founders Sir David McMurtry and John DeerRenishaw founders Sir David McMurtry and John Deer (Image: Renishaw)

Will Lee, Renishaw’s chief executive said: “This is a year to reflect on the tremendous achievements of our co-founders and employees past and present, who have done so much to advance precision manufacturing globally, and to look forward with confidence to future decades of innovation and growth.”

“The formula that has ensured Renishaw’s success over the past 50 years remains at the heart of our approach to business. 

“On behalf of Renishaw, I would also like to thank our customers and suppliers, many of whom we have had close relationships with for most of our history and with whom we have shared mutual success, and our other stakeholders, including our local communities who have been highly supportive of our growth and have also shared in our success.”

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: British athletes Katie Archibald, Neah Evans, Josie Knight and Anna Morris using the Renishaw Hope-Lotus track bikesBritish athletes Katie Archibald, Neah Evans, Josie Knight and Anna Morris using the Renishaw Hope-Lotus track bikes (Image: SWPix)

In 2020 the company also helped deliver over 13,000 ventilators to the NHS during the Coronavirus pandemic

The company is commemorating the significant milestone with a year of global activities that will include open house events at its largest sites and employee family days. 

It has also launched a new 50 at 50 charity initiative in which £150,000 will be donated to 50 organisations in the 36 countries where it has offices.