It's our kind of town
PUBLISHED: 11:23 23 March 2006 | UPDATED: 14:38 12 May 2010
LING Dynamics chiefs have told The Crow that the company plans to remain in Royston. The company now known as LDS Test and Measurement has been tight-lipped since a planning application was submitted in January to build almost 150 homes on its current
LING Dynamics chiefs have told The Crow that the company plans to remain in Royston. The company - now known as LDS Test and Measurement - has been tight-lipped since a planning application was submitted in January to build almost 150 homes on its current site. But the company, which has been based in Baldock Road for 40 years, has now broken its silence. Chief finance officer Mark Shanahan said: "We are not looking at locations outside Royston at the moment. "We are going to try to stay here because we don't want to lose any staff. "We've got a secure workforce and many of them live in Royston and have been here for 10 years. "Some have even been here 40 years and we are keen to keep these people working for us." However, he did admit that if no suitable location in Royston could be found the company might be "forced to look elsewhere". Lawrence Grasty, vice-president of operations, said: "We've got sites in mind in Royston but they are under negotiation, so we don't want to say which sites." He said that about 18 months ago LDS's current site was sold to developers Stephen Howard Homes and it is renting the building until new premises can been found. Mr Grasty defended the company's tight-lipped stance. "It's hard to know how to manage these things. It can be worse if you tell people lots of things which might never come out," he said. On a tour of the building, The Crow was given an insider's view of why LDS has decided to move from Baldock Road. "This building has seen better days and we are a very hi-tech business. "We are world leaders in our field, that's a part of why we are leaving," said Mr Shanahan. "The building has been here for 40 years and it's not the kind of building you would like to have for a hi-tech firm. It is not the building that can take us forward." Walking past the company's archive section there was a strong smell of damp. Mr Grasty said: "When it's shabby you can fix it, but when you've got water leaking through the roof, it's hard to stop." Mr Grasty said the company had not been able to work as efficiently as possible because its current premises is "a bit of a maze". "The building is rather inhibiting for growth and it can be a deterrent to new staff. "They can see the building and think it doesn't look hi-tech," he said. "We are doing this because we are a successful business, we want a better working experience for our staff and we want to attract new staff for the future," Mr Grasty said. Neither was willing to comment directly on the plans to build homes on the site. But both said it was "strange" to have an industrial site so close to a town centre and surrounded by residential property. Mr Shanahan said: "We are trying to make the move go through smoothly and we've got every intention to stay in the town.