Our History


Where it all began

The story of Bensons Control Panels began in 1961 when Yorkshire businessman Donald Benson began supplying oil gauges, rotary cup burners and controls to the heating industry.


A new direction

The business quickly grew and while the successful gas engineering business continued (and is still thriving today), customer demand led Bensons to begin designing and building their first control panels.


Expansion was required

During the early 1960s, the company operated from the Benson’s family home but by 1966 it was clear that bigger premises were needed. Offices were built in Normanton and completed in 1967. At this time the business began to upscale the manufacture and design of its control panels and the original 255m² floor space was expanded by 210m² in 1971.


New technologies

Bensons has always been an early adopter of new technologies and during the 1970s and 80s, began exploiting advances in technology to deliver even better products to customers. The company began using frequency inverters for air temperature control and VAV (variable air volume) systems. They also began the design and manufacture of advanced Form 4 motor control centres (MCCs). The company began using CAD systems for the first time in 1985 and gained BS5750 Certification in 1987.


Major projects

During the 1980s, Bensons worked on a host of prestigious projects including Harrogate Conference Centre and Knostrop Water Treatment Works.


Big changes

As the business grew, a further extension was built, taking the site to 847m². In 1986, Bernard Barton took over from Donald Benson as Bensons’ managing director and in the same year Bensons entered the CHP market.


Diversifying into new markets

As technology continued to evolve, Bensons improved efficiency and productivity, helping the business expand into new sectors. The company began diversifying within the leisure industry, supplying control panels for pool filtration and leisure rides together with wave machines and moving floor systems for swimming pools. Through this diversification, Bensons developed extensive capability in the design and programming of PLC control systems. In 1990, the company’s most recent extension was completed, adding a further 227m² to Bensons’ site.


Always evolving

In 2001, Keith Williams succeeded Bernard Barton as managing director. With major investment in automation, Bensons’ first Perforex machine was installed in 2006. The company also invested in a laser engraving system, accelerating the production and quality of labels. Major projects around this time included Wembley Stadium, Heathrow Airport and Westfield Shopping Centre


Celebrating milestones

In 2012 Bob Grinsill became Bensons’ first employee to mark 40 years of service. Since then several other members of staff have also achieved 40 years’ service with the company.

In 2015, the company became an approved member of Avetta and with continued investment, Bensons took ownership of its second Perforex machine to meet increased manufacturing requirements. Major projects during these years included work for Tottenham Hotspur Football Club with Schneider Electric, the Center Parcs resort at Longford Forest in the Republic of Ireland with FT Leisure and several high-profile AstraZeneca projects, including their flagship R&D facility in Cambridge with Honeywell.


Back into family ownership

In 2018, Helen Culloden succeeded Keith Williams as managing director and the company returned to family ownership.

Further renovation of the factory premises strengthened the company’s technical infrastructure. Bensons also enrolled in the Strategic Business Growth Programme and became members of Make UK and Connect Yorkshire.


Investing in the next generation

As Bensons continues to grow, we are investing in the future of our workforce. In 2019 we relaunched our apprenticeship scheme and became an approved member of SSIP (Safety Schemes in Procurement).


Looking to the future

Though we’re proud of our history, our sights are firmly set on the future. To reflect this, in early 2020 we revealed the company’s new branding and launched our new website to support Bensons’ continued growth over the coming decades.

As we look to the future, our aim is the same as it always has been; to deliver the quality products our clients expect as we move into new markets.

Tell us about your project

Need to discuss your perfect Control Panel solution? Simply fill in the form with your details and requirements and we'll be in touch!

Give Us A Call