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Our History - I had a vision to build a company with great values, with the ability to diversify into new products and markets - whilst keeping customers and quality at our core - Quote by John Bates, Founder, 1989 to Present

Our History


The Beginning - 1989

On a cold November morning in 1989 SWR begins life operating from a small store and workshop in Hemel Hempstead. John Bates created the company under the name Steel Wire Rope Ltd with one focus area, supplying full reels of wire rope.

Founded by John Bates

Diversification - 1992

At the peak of the recession the company re-brands as SWR Ltd, invests in presses, reeling and testing machines and develops a range of high quality Wire Rope Assemblies for trade. This leads to a move to larger premises in Hemel Hempstead to enable further investment in stock and capital equipment.

100 tone press

BS5750 Quality Accreditation - 1994

SWR become the first totally independent UK wire rope supplier to achieve BS5750 quality accreditation recognising the strong quality ethos held by its owners.

Quality Assurance - Observe BS 5750 Quality Assurance Procedures

2nd Move - 1997

Further growth beckoned along with a need to modernise. Jason Lee is appointed Managing Director and SWR moves to its current location in Eastman Way, Hemel Hempstead to further improve the maufacturing processes and quality. Production of larger diameter stainless steel assemblies is increased and remains a speciality today.

grind with arrow

Website Launch - 1998

SWR launched steelwirerope.com to help bringing us closer to the international market.

Domain Registration

ISO9001 Quality Accreditation - 1999

Working closely with NQA, SWR achieve another milestone reflecting their “commitment to quality” by successfully achieving ISO9001 at the first attempt.

ISO logo

SWR Goes Global - 2000

SWR begin exporting worldwide and steelwirerope.com is launched. Today we regularly export to all continents on a regular basis with SWR products reaching 50 countries by 2006. Read more on Export.

world map Read more

We Need More Space, Again! - 2004

SWR doubles in size by taking over the adjoining premise in Eastman Way, Hemel Hempstead to cover 15,000 sq/ft as well as securing a separate 10,000 sq ft storage facility also located in Hemel Hempstead.

two industrial buildings

Expansion - 2005

You will now find our high quality steel cables and fittings on structures such as Wembley Stadium, Emirates stadium and The Hong Kong Bridge. Our customers include BAE systems, Ferrari, Maclaren and BSi to name a few. Jason is delighted by the progress the Company has made and particularly proud of the people who work at SWR who set us apart from the competition.

Expanding in all directions

Company Values - 2011

Working closely with the employees, SWR develops a set of company values based upon the aim of creating a truly great company, both to deal with and to work for.

Heart, light bulb, cogs and book Read more

Website Re-designed - 2013

Our "in-house" Marketing team did a fantastic job of bringing the website up to scratch, and now maintain and update the site regularly.

screen shot of steel wire rope.com

Fatzer® Partnership - 2014

SWR partnered with Fatzer who specialises in manufacturing high-quality steel wire ropes for ropeways, winches and structural applications among other applications.

Fatzer Logo

Teufelberger Partnership - 2015

SWR partnered with Teufelberger a specialist steel wire rope manufacturer for a wide range of applications including, cranes, ropeways, building & construction, industry, forestry, and slope winches, as well as personal fall protection equipment. SWR have been supplying Teufelberger products for the past ten years and became a UK distributor in 2015.

Teufelberger Logo

Tractel Partnership - 2016

SWR partnered with Tractel® who manufactures hand operated lifting and pulling equipment such as Tirfor® and jockey™ winches.

Tractel Logo

SWR is Still Growing - 2016

SWR aim to be a supplier of great value to our customers and employees with quality and innovation at the heart of everything we do. Today we have 55 great people (and counting), 5 key values, 4 million unique website visitors and 1,000’s of satisfied customers worldwide.

graf trending up

New Responsive Website - 2017

SWR's in-house graphic design and web development teams created a custom responsive website to improve our customers online experience.

New Responsive website screen shot

Investors in People Silver Award! - 2017

The Investors in People Standard is a framework of best practice, awarded to well-run organisations that meet set criteria in areas including learning and development, leadership skills, as well as recognition and reward.

Jason Lee - Managing Director
“We were delighted to be awarded the Silver award on our first time of applying, which less than a quarter of IIP companies ever achieve."

Investors In People Logo Read more

Time to expand again! - 2018

The adjoining building (Unit 2) became available and so we had to have it. This allowed us to increase of storage capacity but more importantly allowed for a bigger, more LEAN layout to our production area.


SWR launches 'Engineered Components' Division - 2019

Our 30 years of experience means we’ve built up a network of trusted global partners that can provide high-quality components in a range of materials - So we launched a new division, offering our skills and expertise to other businesses.

New Division

Awarded IIP Gold! - 2020

After serveral years of implementing the suggestions made by The Investors in People Standard, we were finally recognised when it came time to be re-audited. It's difficult to maintain an IIP Silver, but we went one better ..... becoming IIP Gold!

This now places us in the top us in the top 10% of IP accredited employers in the industry. This recognition is a testament to our commitment to creating a diverse and inclusive workplace, where all employees can thrive and succeed.

We have made significant strides in recruiting, retaining, and promoting employees from underrepresented groups, and have created a supportive and inclusive environment for all of our employees. We firmly believe that diversity and inclusion are key to making better business decisions and achieving success, and we are proud to be recognized for our efforts. We will continue to strive for excellence in this area, as we believe it will bring us to be a more successful business in future.

IIP Gold

Business as usual, as we support critical industries during the COVID Pandemic - 2021

As a supplier to many critical industries, I was essential that we remained working at full capacity. This includes in our warehouse where we rapidly added all the necessary safety measures to ensure all machinery are manned and fully operational. In addition, we put the infrastructure in place to ensure office staff could work remotely if necessary.


Second Location & Investment in Automation - 2022

Recently, we acquired wire rope cutting and dereeler machines from Gripple Automation for our production area. The cutting machine alone can deliver around 1500 units 1 metre cable length per hour – all controlled from a simple-to-use interface. The cable dereeler is a standalone unit that can process cables in a variety of diameters at up to 20 metres per second. Both machines have dramatically sped up our productivity to become essential parts of our workshop. We also acquired a new 6,000 sq/ft warehouse just up the road, more storage and the site for our new Training Academy.

Unit 12

Steel Wire Rope gets a rebrand - 2023

Our business has evolved significantly over the past few years. As a result, we felt the old look no longer reflected who we are and the extent of what we now offer customers. We hope you like the new branding. You’ll see updates to our website and literature - including brochures and datasheets.

Explore our library of brochures and
technical datasheets.

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