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Retrac Group, one of the UK’s leading advanced manufacturing specialists in the Formula 1™, automotive and aerospace sectors, today announced a structural change to increase growth and enhance the security and prospects of its employees.

Following five decades of being owned by the Carter family, the Swindon-based company’s ownership has been transferred to an Employee Ownership Trust (EOT) structure, which makes the 115-strong workforce the beneficiaries of the company’s future success.

Experienced automotive and motorsport executive Dan Walmsley has been appointed as CEO to lead the Group’s two divisions, Retrac Productions Ltd and Retrac Composites Ltd. In tandem, long-standing co-owner and Retrac Productions managing director, Andy Carter, is to step into the role of Chairman of Retrac Group.

With a long history of innovative manufacturing excellence, Retrac Group has been a key supplier to more than half of the Formula 1™ World Champions in the past 25 years. It has also diversified its blue-chip client portfolio across multiple sectors, providing engineering solutions in advanced materials, tooling and component manufacture.

“We firmly believe that the EOT mechanism is the correct succession plan for the business,” said Andy Carter. “Since my father founded Retrac in 1972, the most important aspect of the business is the employees. The average service record of more than a decade stands as testament to the loyalty and commitment of the Retrac workforce.
“The benefits that EOT employee ownership can bring to businesses are widely acknowledged – including improved employee engagement and wellbeing, and better business performance. We want our employees to have the chance to share in future success.”

Dan Walmsley arrives at Retrac having last year been a co-ordinating lynchpin for the Ventilator Challenge UK Consortium. As part of the Cabinet Office response to the Covid-19 pandemic, Walmsley helped co-ordinate multi-site production activities for Airbus, Ford, Siemens, McLaren, Penlon and GKN Automotive. Prior to that he was Motorsport Director at McLaren Automotive from 2016-20, having been Team Principal at FIA World Sportscar Championship entrant Strakka Racing.

As CEO, Walmsley will oversee the day-to-day running of the Group. “Retrac Group is proud to enter a new employee-owned era,” he said. “It reinforces our outstanding workforce skill-set and commitment, which are the foundation of our offering to customers of increased production flexibility and shorter lead-times.

“I am delighted to join a company as established as Retrac, yet with so much growth potential,” added Walmsley. “The Carter family and the Retrac staff have created a company that has long excelled at delivering into some of the most demanding industries through hard work, innovation and re-investment.
“Yet the breadth of applications for innovative, lightweight materials and skilled yet rapid manufacturing is growing exponentially across many sectors, and we see a bright next chapter in the Retrac story.”


Retrac Group announces latest expansion – “First of its type in the UK”

The engineering, composite tooling and component supplier Retrac Group has announced the potential to increase staffing levels following the investment and opening of its new £2million, 20,000 sq ft machining and production facility.

Work and recruitment has been ongoing since late last year at Retrac’s Swindon based site as it seeks to expand its current 50,000 sq ft manufacturing capabilities.

Installation of a 1,000 sq ft ISO 14644-1 Class 7 clean room and a CMS Cronus 5 axis milling machine has now been completed within the new facility as part of a drive to secure more long term programs of work from the UK’s burgeoning aerospace composites industry.

The CMS Cronus is the first of its type in the UK and has a 6 x 3 x 2 metre machining envelope capable of highly accurate 5 axis machining of metallics, composites and patterns, an addition which Retrac Productions MD Andrew Carter believes will only serve to further enhance Retrac Group’s reputation to become a dominant force in the supply of very large composite tooling and components.

“The Retrac Group of companies desire to build lasting relationships with key players from within the automotive, aerospace and motorsport composite sectors has been the driving factor behind a number of significant investments.”

“Our customer base is such that it demands control of all critical processes from design through to component under one roof.”

“The investment in our new facility strengthens our ability to offer a single entity tooling and component manufacturing solution with a proven first class reputation to deliver all aspects of our customers engineering requirements.”