Park’s position attracts power industry supplier

In moving onto Howbery Park recently, IPEC is planning ahead for a time when its clients from the international power industry can visit its characterful office in the former stables.

Not only is the site attractive and easy-to-access, but it’s also well situated for IPEC to take clients to London to show them its monitoring and control equipment in action at power substations. Having a southern office is useful, as its developing and manufacturing base has stayed in Manchester where it was first established in the 1990s to transfer cutting-edge electronic technology from academia to industry. A few years ago, Managing Director Colin Smith decided to return to Wallingford – where he grew up – to make the most of relatives’ support as he started his own family.

“I’ve been based on a nearby business park, but I knew Howbery through family visits to the café, and I’ve been keen to move here for a few years. I was therefore very pleased when a suitable office became available, coinciding with the end of the other office’s lease,” he said. “I’m now able to walk to work at Howbery and am really enjoying the grounds. I’m also keen to look after one of the allotments.

“The park will be ideal for receiving our international clients. Eighty per cent of our business comes from them, which has helped cushion our business during the pandemic. Many of our customers are from countries that exited lockdown ahead of the UK, which meant they were back up and running earlier too. We provide them with complex instruments and systems for detection and location of partial discharge – a spark that can occur in high voltage electrical insulation. By detecting partial discharge, our systems can identify defects, allowing maintenance to be conducted. This avoids outages with their associated costs and even serious health and safety implications.”

Donna Bowles, Estates Manager, said: “We are so pleased that IPEC was able to join us on Howbery Park. We’re also looking forward to a time when visitors can return to the park, along with all of our community. Howbery isn’t the same without all of its people, although the wildlife does seem to be enjoying the quiet!”