Witan It celebrates its 70th anniversary as a trusted supplier of storage products and solutions.
The story of Witan – the tale of 70 years of British design, manufacture and installation of pallet racking, shelving and cabinetry by one company – remains unique today. In 1951, father and son James and Peter Kinnear founded the Handy Angle Company in Brierley Hill in the industrial heart of England’s Black Country. They set up a small workshop with six original employees. From there, they began manufacturing a set of practical slotted steel angles.
The region was already seen as influential in shaping trends and consumer tastes, and the company was well positioned to capitalize on this growth. They developed a tension plate design that provided a stable and highly configurable storage system. Building on this innovation, the business has grown to meet the growing demand for improved and purpose-built storage equipment. In 1966, it changed its name to Link51, combining the year of foundation and the word Link, which described the different types of storage equipment and technology bundled into one company. He never looked back.
Over the seven decades, Whittan has tracked the changing needs of storage while innovating and setting trends. Today it is the UK’s largest manufacturer and supplier of steel storage systems, and is known for its wide range of solutions that expand capabilities with storage.
The backbone of many of the UK’s leading home and business brands, Whittan Solutions continues to meet the demand for rigorous and efficient warehousing management for all types of industries and specifications. They’re present in warehouses, retail, stores, offices and organizations across industries and sectors – from creating space for defense equipment storage aboard a Royal Navy submarine; Contains 13.5 million liters of single Macallan malt; protect Stella McCartney’s fashion archives; To provide secure storage cabinets for offices, schools and gyms, or store decades of film reels for BFI.
John Templeman, CEO of Whittan, commented on this achievement: “Many companies are not robust until 70 years old. Whittan and its predecessors, Link51 and Apex, have proven their resilience and adaptability to a changing market over the years.”
As the UK’s largest manufacturer, Witan has been at the forefront of changes in the industry. It has also had an influence in the development of industry standards, at SEMA in the UK and Europe, where it has become an increasingly important player since its acquisition of Permar (now Polypal) in Spain.
Templeman added, “Our use of technology and the knowledge and experience of our experts has enabled us to respond to the growing demand for innovative automated solutions. We have also changed our customer service approach from being product-driven to focusing on solutions to customer challenges. However, the commitment and innovation of generations of employees have been Link51-Apex-Whittan is what has enabled the company to thrive. I am confident that this dedication and success will continue.”
As Witan celebrates seven decades of expanding storage capabilities and expanding opportunities with Link51, it offers an outstanding portfolio of trusted storage brands. They include Link51 and Apex, which design, manufacture and install racking products; HiStore, for mezzanine floors; Market-leading display and warehousing solutions for the retail sectors from Polypal UK and a wide range of cabinetry and workplace products from Probe and Link Lockers.
Witan products are part of the UK’s legacy of displaying quality in manufacturing. The company is committed to sustainability and is moving towards net zero. All Whittan products are locally manufactured, which brings them close to installation sites. This reduces carbon emissions, delays, order cancellations and disruption to schedules. They also fit in with an extensive UK network of experts to assist with inquiries and deal with simple to complete and environmentally efficient formulations.
In the tradition founded by James and Peter Kinnear in 1951, Wheatan continues to bring the power of warehousing to help companies large and small, across sectors, with a wide range of warehousing needs. All the while, it’s making space work harder by providing the most innovative, flexible, and future-proof storage solution.