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Founder of award-winning Grantham firm has died aged 73

David Trevor Holt, a founder of BGB Engineering Ltd, speaks at a Grantham Journal Business Awards event after winning Business of the Year.
David Trevor Holt, a founder of BGB Engineering Ltd, speaks at a Grantham Journal Business Awards event after winning Business of the Year.

The founder of a successful Grantham engineering firm has died at the age of 73.

David Trevor Holt helped to found award-winning BGB Engineering Ltd in 1976.

He was born to parents Richard and Elsie in Grantham in 1944, having followed his elder brother John, and later became brother to twin sisters Elizabeth and Enid. He was educated at The King’s School and Grantham College and achieved qualifications in mechanical and also electrical engineering.

Early career spells were spent at Grantham Engineering Ltd under the stewardship of another successful Grantham businessman, Sidney Pask.

In 1966 he married Geraldine before going on to hone his procurement skills at BRUSH Electrical Engineering Company Ltd, in Loughborough. During his time there, he had formed relationships with two other men, and ultimately the ambitious trio took the brave step to start up their own business as a market opportunity presented itself. BGB Engineering Ltd was established in Leicester in 1976 to design and manufacture brush holders for rotary, and, primarily, generator applications.

The early months saw the departure of one of the original founders and as the small team grew, the company was moved to Grantham’s London Road Industrial Estate, much closer to David’s home. Business expansion brought about the need for larger premises which were eventually secured at Dysart Road, a former armaments and shoe factory.

Around this time, the partnership was dissolved to leave David as the only serving founding member. He was by no means alone though, and the business growth was driven with the support of Geraldine, his twin sisters and Dave Gilbert, still a serving BGB group director today.

With the help of Jorgen Hansen, a Danish technical sales representative, BGB managed to secure a foothold in the developing wind turbine industry in the early 1990s.

David led BGB to a national award in 2006, the Institute of Mechanical Engineers, UK Manufacturing Excellence Award. The company began to gain greater experience in export markets which ultimately culminated in the receipt of the Queen’s Award for Export. It was a proud day for David to meet with the Queen and Prince Philip in 2009.

His son David told the Journal: “‘Jobs for Grantham’ meant the world to David and he was ever willing to reinvest to develop the Dysart Road site and its people. The company has since also branched out a little to another development facility in Grantham and a manufacturing plant in Virginia, in the US.

“David had a passion for engineering, for innovation. He gained great joy from building loyalty, seeing staff members flourish with the company and allowing them to share in its success. His entrepreneurial spirit saw him lay terrific foundations for the BGB Group to grow and a purpose to form partnerships with new clients.

“David worked hard and played hard. An avid sportsman, he found strength at tennis at a young age. Later in life he gained great enjoyment and forged friendships through Grantham Squash Club. He will be greatly missed by family, friends and work colleagues alike.”

David’s funeral will take place at Grantham’s St Wulfram’s Church on Wednesday, April 25, at 12.30pm.


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