Paralympic Flames, cutting-edge bikes, award wins

The latest from Buckinghamshire's business (and wider) community.

Featured in this article:

  • Paralympic Flame to be created at Stoke Mandeville for all future Paralympic Games. Read now >
  • Silverstone Sports Engineering Hub's cutting-edge equipment boosts peak cycling performance. Read now >
  • Fledgling firm looking to fly thanks to specialist Westcott programme. Read now >
  • TS Electrical get sustainable stamp of approval. Read now >

Paralympic Flame to be created at Stoke Mandeville for all future Paralympic Games

It has been announced that Stoke Mandeville, the birthplace of Paralympic sport, will now be the location where the Paralympic Flame is created ahead of each Paralympic Torch Relay, starting with the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games onwards.

The new concept, devised by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), ParalympicsGB, and WheelPower, aims to increase global awareness of the role Stoke Mandeville and Sir Ludwig Guttmann played in the birth and development of the Paralympic Movement.

Stoke Mandeville, which recently celebrated the 75th anniversary of the 1948 Stoke Mandeville Games (the precursor to the Paralympic Games), marked the start of the London 2012 Paralympic Torch Relay. Since the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games onwards, Stoke Mandeville has hosted a Heritage Flame Lighting event for each Games, which has contributed towards the Paralympic Flame created in the host country of the Games.

But now, in the same way that the Olympic Flame is kindled in Olympia, Greece, the plan is for the Paralympic Flame to be created in Stoke Mandeville, marking the start of the Paralympic Torch Relay. How and when the Paralympic Flame will be created for the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games will be announced in due course.

The countdown to the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games ramped up recently with the celebration of Paralympic Day (8th October) and the launch of Paralympic Games ticket sales, with 2.8 million tickets going on sale. For ticketing information, visit the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games website.

Andrew Parsons, IPC President, said: “The Paralympic Movement owes Stoke Mandeville and Sir Ludwig Guttmann a huge debt of gratitude. What started out as a small-scale sport event in 1948 at the back of a rehabilitation hospital for 16 injured war veterans has now become the world’s third biggest sport event. At the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games, 4,350 exceptional athletes from 180 countries will compete in 22 sports, while a cumulative audience of 4.1 billion will watch on TV.

“Through his pioneering techniques, Sir Ludwig changed the world with sport. Today, the Paralympic Games is a spectacular sport event and the only global event of impact that puts persons with disabilities front and centre. The transformational legacies the Games also leave in the host country and globally are also truly impressive and act as a catalyst to a more inclusive world for all."

Dave Clarke OBE, CEO of ParalympicsGB, said: “Great Britain is immensely proud to be the birthplace of Paralympic sport and starting the flame’s journey at Stoke Mandeville is fitting recognition of its role as the catalyst for what has grown to be such a powerful global sporting movement. At ParalympicsGB we work tirelessly to continue to be at the forefront of the evolution of disability sport, as we know that the performances of Paralympic athletes and the positive role models such performances create is one of the best ways of challenging perceptions and breaking down barriers faced by all disabled people.

“ParalympicsGB remains relentlessly focused on ensuring that participation in sport is open to everyone. We believe there is still far more we and wider society can do to improve access to inclusive sporting opportunities so more disabled people can experience the physical, mental, and social benefits of taking part, to build on the visionary work Ludwig Guttman began at Stoke Mandeville Hospital 75 years ago.”

Martin McElhatton OBE, Chief Executive of WheelPower, said: “It is wonderful that the role Sir Ludwig and Stoke Mandeville played in igniting the Paralympic Movement will be part of all future Paralympic Games Torch Relays. At WheelPower, we continue to use the power of the Paralympics to inspire and encourage disabled people to move more, be active and play sport. We are proud that together with others here in Buckinghamshire and the UK we celebrate the heritage of the Paralympics and the place where it all started in 1948.”

Image: The Stoke Mandeville Games in 1948 - the forerunner for the Paralympics. ©WheelPower © Buckinghamshire Archives and the International Wheelchair and Amputee Sports Federation

Silverstone Sports Engineering Hub's cutting-edge equipment boosts peak cycling performance

A pioneering piece of equipment designed to help cyclists and bicycle manufacturers maximise performance has been launched.

The Silverstone Sports Engineering Hub (SSEH) has added a Pedalling Efficiency Rig to its already impressive list of facilities which will allow professional cyclists to boost their efficiency using cutting-edge equipment. The rig complements the comprehensive existing cycle test facilities at the SSEH, including the Sports Performance Wind Tunnel, which make it the leader in its field. Many cycle teams from the world tour are now SSEH customers thanks to the combination of facilities and location, along with the ability to use the hotel at the Silverstone circuit. 

The rig was officially launched at SSEH on 6th October at a special event, with guests made up of Buckinghamshire Local Enterprise Partnership (Bucks LEP) representatives, existing SSEH customers and industry delegates.

SSEH Managing Director Rob Lewis said: “We are very pleased to launch the Pedalling Efficiency Rig, a project which has been made possible through the continued support of Buckinghamshire LEP. The rig will open up new opportunities for teams and manufacturers to investigate the efficiency of the bicycle in a way that has not been possible before, encouraging future development and innovation within the sport.”

SSEH received £450,000 of Local Growth Funding from the Buckinghamshire Local Enterprise Partnership to support the project. It comes in addition to the SSEH Cycling Test Lab, launched last year at Silverstone University Technical College, which received £350,000 of funding. 

Richard Harrington, Chief Executive of Buckinghamshire LEP, said: “Despite the critical importance of data in monitoring cyclists’ performance, there is a lack in the technological capabilities necessary to capture realistic data on how everything works together. We are excited to see how this new facility will drive cycling productivity further. The capability we hope is of national, if not international, significance and unique in its co-location with other test capabilities such as the wind tunnel.”

Together with the Sports Performance Wind Tunnel, the Cycling Test Lab, Performance Lab and the Pedalling Efficiency Rig (PER), SSEH now provides a “one stop shop” for both professional cycling teams and manufacturers looking to optimise the performance of their athletes and equipment. The PER measures rider input power and compares it with output power at the roller surface in a controlled environment, revealing the mechanical losses of a bicycle and providing an overall measurement of efficiency.

Rob added: “We are very excited to add this rig to the list of facilities we now have available at Silverstone Sports Engineering Hub and believe that we are well on our way to providing customers with the tools required to fully optimise every aspect of their performance under one roof.”

For further information, visit the Silverstone Sports Engineering Hub website. The SSEH is part of the Silverstone Park Enterprise Zone - learn more about Silverstone Park here.

Learn more about Buckinghamshire's three Enterprise Zone sites at

Fledgling firm looking to fly thanks to specialist Westcott programme

A company specialising in 3D modelling for space and engineering applications has been given a major boost after being accepted onto a support and development scheme.

Techwerk, which was established in December 2022 and currently employs three people, will benefit from the Westcott Incubator and Accelerator (WIA) Programme aimed at encouraging start up and SME companies to grow and develop at Westcott Venture Park. The business has been accepted onto the incubator section of the £500,000 scheme and will also have the support and use of facilities at the Westcott Innovation Centre. The aim is to accelerate prototyping of the next generation of products and services for the space and related sectors.

Buckinghamshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) launched and funded the programme and appointed the Satellite Applications Catapult (SAC) to run it through its existing facilities at the Westcott Space Cluster.

Techwerk Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer, Dr Patrick Cannon, said: “Our software creates 3D models that are easy to use and designed for applications requiring a high degree of accuracy. Our areas of operation include Defence, Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC), and Earth Observation (EO).

Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer. Elizabeth Burgnon said: “We are thrilled to have the opportunity to make use of the Westcott Drone Test and Development Centre, where we will have dedicated airspace to test our solutions.”

Matt Peachey, Head of Enterprise Zone Development for the Buckinghamshire Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “Techwerk is exactly the sort of dynamic start-up company we are looking for to join this programme and accelerate the growth of the successful ecosystem of space-related companies at Westcott. The programme highlights the level of skills and business support available within the Westcott Enterprise Zone and we look forward to welcoming many more start-up companies onto the scheme."

If you would like to be considered for one of the support packages as part of the Westcott Incubator and Accelerator (WIA) Programme, learn more and complete the short application online here. Alternatively, email

Learn more about Westcott Venture Park, one of Buckinghamshire's three Enterprise Zones.

TS Electrical get sustainable stamp of approval

TS Electrical have achieved the MCS certification for Solar PV and Battery Storage installations. The MCS is a mark of quality, and the thorough evaluation process ensures that the certified products meet high standards for performance and reliability. It also demonstrates a technically competent team that has a commitment to quality workmanship and customer care.

Tomas Saevarsson, Managing Director, said: “I’m proud of my team for all their work in getting our business ready for the rigorous MCS assessment. It’s no surprise that we achieved the MCS accreditation with the NICEIC as our certification body. We’re excited to be playing a part in contributing to the UK’s low-carbon targets and a more sustainable future for our planet.”

The team at TS Electrical had even more reason to smile recently as they won Buckinghamshire Electrical Contractor of the Year 2023 in the BUILD Construction and Engineering Awards, saying: "We are so grateful for this achievement as our team continuously works hard to provide outstanding service to our customers and to grow our business in the industry. We’re proud of our team and their dedication to quality work!"

The TS Electrical team are dedicated to installing home-grown energy to the highest standards, encouraging others to embrace renewable energy and take the next step towards a greener future!

Image: The Stoke Mandeville Games in 1948 - the forerunner for the Paralympics. ©WheelPower © Buckinghamshire Archives and the International Wheelchair and Amputee Sports Federation

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