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Member Interview: Steve Blythe, Jaltek – Super-Excited About the Awards, and Banging the Drum for Luton!

Written by Bedfordshire Chamber of Commerce | 08 May 2024



We previously caught up with Steve Blythe, at Luton-based electronics manufacturer and Beds Chamber member Jaltek, back in 2022. So when we interviewed him again last month he had much to report – and the company’s platinum sponsorship of the forthcoming SME Bedfordshire Business Awards was high on the list!

Generous, as always, with his time and his insights, Steve covered a number of topics close to his and Jaltek’s heart in the interview, and, once again, showed how business and the Chamber can be a force for good in our local communities.

Here’s a brief precis that we hope does justice to what was a candid and wide-ranging conversation.

 What’s new at Jaltek?

The last time we spoke to Steve, Jaltek was still navigating many of the repercussions of the Covid pandemic. But the business came through them strongly, and has experienced its best year yet in both its Design and Manufacturing divisions, with significant growth across the Aerospace, Medical, and Cleantech markets.

New alliances include a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) with Warwick University, a scheme that focuses on growing business capabilities by transmitting knowledge and skills from academia to industry.

New relationships include a business partner in Central Europe with extensive experience supplying multiple international vehicle manufacturers. The partnership gives Jaltek’s clients a potential option of lower cost, a route to market into Europe, and automotive-accredited production facilities.

Plans for automation are taking shape, and an intern was recruited for the development of cobots (collaborative robots intended for direct human-robot interaction). The internship was a success, and the intern has been subsequently appointed as Automation Engineer, heading up future plans and investment.

Jaltek is also strengthening its marketing presence to communicate and build on its success, and proudly celebrate its achievements as a leading light in the county’s engineering and manufacturing sector.

Dialogue, cooperation, community

At the same time, Jaltek is stepping up its activities to support the development of an Engineering and Manufacturing Cluster in the region.

This will be a central resource to enable companies in this sector to share ideas, expertise, and opportunities, but also generate valuable data that will make it possible for the Cluster, supported by the councils and Beds Chamber, to, as Steve puts it, “support and take the pulse of local business.”

And Jaltek’s commitment to the growth, evolution, and prosperity of Luton is as resolute as ever. “We are involved in supporting       both the Luton Rising and Step Forward Luton programmes,” Steve explains, “and we’re increasing our social responsibility activities apace.”

 Why sponsor the SME Bedfordshire Business Awards?

Speaking of Jaltek’s platinum sponsorship of the awards, Steve enthuses that the event will “act as a signpost to any company in the region that wants to demonstrate it’s the best”, but also that it will “bang a drum for Luton” - a goal he says the Chamber is “completely culturally aligned with.”

“Luton boasts thriving investment, great connectivity, a growing airport, relatively good value land and property, and is only 20 – 30 minutes outside London,” he states.

“It is great that people feel proud of their businesses, and the town and county they work in,” he continues. “And that’s why we’re super-excited about these awards!”

For more information, visit the Awards site here. To enquire about becoming a Chamber member, visit or speak to our friendly team on 01582 522448.

Topics: member interview

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