Happy Christmas! Bloodhound SSC refuelled by Yorkshire business chap

Yuletide cheer for Wing Commander Andy Green and the team

In news that will bring festive cheer to fans of plucky Brit engineering efforts, the Bloodhound 1,000mph car project has been lobbed a lifeline by Yorkshire-based entrepreneur Ian Warhurst.

Warhurst, who sold his Barnsley-based company, Melett, for an undisclosed sum to US outfit Wabtec this time last year, snapped up the business and assets of Bloodhound after the thing went TITSUP* on 7 December.

The deal was signed off on 14 December, and Warhurst will be meeting the team in the New Year, once their Christmas hangovers have subsided.

Melett is all about turbochargers and, while Bloodhound is powered by something a little more explosive, Warhurst's experience in the automotive engineering sector will prove useful. As will his chequebook. In the last set of accounts filed (PDF) at Companies House, Melett reported an operating profit of £5.3m on sales of £28m.

Andrew Sheridan, joint administrator for the project, was cock-a-hoop about the development and said, "We have been overwhelmed by the passion that clearly exists for Bloodhound and are thrilled that we have been able to secure a buyer who is able to give this inspiring project a future."

Sheridan also paid tribute to the Ministry of Defence and Rolls Royce, without whose support "it would not have been possible for the project to be in a position to continue".

As for when we might see Bloodhound rolling once more, the administrators were more coy, saying that Warhust will detail his plans early next year.

While the future is by no means assured, for many an engineering fan the news that the Bloodhound project has been yanked back from the precipice will make this week's Christmas parties all the more bearable.

* Total Inability To Secure Unlimited Pounds

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