The British Textile Testing Group (BTTG) is to rename three buildings that make up part of its headquarters in Manchester.
The textile testing and research company is taking this step as it celebrates the long service and achievements of three members of staff, Neil Sorensen, Clarissa Austin, and Dr Tony Sagar. Collectively, the trio has worked at BTTG for 152 years.
Joining the company in 1964 as a laboratory assistant, Neil Sorensen has been a BTTG director for many years. He has made a significant impact on the business, particularly through his work in the heat and flame protective clothing and related PE sector, which is globally recognised. Neil takes pride in the fact that fire brigades across the globe rely on the testing carried out at the centre to keep their employees safe. He is currently based in Australia.
Director Clarissa Austin came to the company fresh from school in 1969 to work as a laboratory assistant. During her time with the business, she has seen, and been responsible for, the implementation of significant change.
Remembering a time at work before mobile phones, calculators and computers, Clarissa says: “Times were very different when I joined the business, much slower-paced as we were largely reliant on the postal service for communication. The UK textile industry has also changed so much during my time here, yet BTTG has maintained a strong influence in the marketplace.”
With a PhD in Synthetic Organic Chemistry, Dr Tony Sagar saw an advert for a position with what is now BTTG in the Manchester Evening News and knew the role was for him. Starting his career as a research officer in 1978, he hasn’t looked back since.
Tony is greatly valued for his scientific and technical expertise with his core interests being ecological testing, certification and labelling of textiles. It is this technical knowledge that leads to the Government calling on him to act as a technical expert in the naming and labelling of textiles. He cites his role in the 2010 management buyout as one of his greatest professional achievements.
BTTG Chief Operating Officer, Lesley Hughes, said, “What Tony, Clarissa and Neil have given to the company is phenomenal. They have been tremendously loyal to the company and have driven and implemented change that has seen BTTG continue to be one of the leading testing facilities in the world.
“They are all world-leading experts in their fields and respected as such by peers and colleagues. That knowledge and standing is something that is gained over many years, and we couldn’t think of a bigger accolade we could give than naming buildings after them.”