About Us

Cygnet Group is a group of specialist engineering businesses delivering engineering solutions in two strategic areas; production and processes of technical fibres and oil and gas technology.

Our vision and philosophy have remained unchanged for the last 40 years; our priority is to provide engineering excellence to our global customers, who range from small, family-owned enterprises to large multi-national corporations.

We work in partnership with our customers, delivering engineering solutions, support and service and allowing them to focus on their core businesses. Our talented and experienced engineers offer a complete product and machinery design and manufacturing service, creating tried and tested solutions or bespoke designs specially conceived to keep our customers one step ahead of their competition.

2014 celebrates 40 years in business for Cygnet group and in this year was awarded The Queen’s Award for International Trade for outstanding overseas sales growth. Over the last three years Cygnet group have seen an overseas earnings growth of 255% to £23m and have almost doubled the number of employees.


The diverse international business that Cygnet is today was founded by Colin Smith in 1974, with the startup of Texkimp Ltd.

Following a mechanical engineering degree from Manchester College of Science and Technology, a comprehensive management apprenticeship and design and contract engineering experience with the Simon Engineering Group, Colin joined his father in law, William Harry Kimpton.

Bill Kimpton, after many years developing viscose and acetate fibre processing machinery for the British Celanese, had started his own company, WHK Products, to manufacture warp preparation machinery for the traditional UK textile industries. At the time there were many cotton mills in Lancashire, wool and worsted mills in Yorkshire. knitting and lace mills in the Midlands, and a developing industry as the “new” nylon and polyester fibres came on the scene. Some of the first woven carbon fibre produced in the UK was woven directly from WHK creel.

WHK was based originally in Quarry Bank Mill, near Manchester airport, which is now a National Trust museum for the cotton industry. Today’s Cygnet Group MD/CEO Matthew Kimpton-Smith, Bill’s grandson, can remember being allowed to turn on the Styal water wheel as a boy, but never imagined the path that would lead him to head up a rapidly growing engineering group.

Bill Kimpton retired, WHK was sold, Colin Smith eventually decided he wanted his independence, and with the dedicated support of his wife Janet, Texkimp Ltd came into being.

A new range of unwinding machines and accessories were designed and developed, and as the UK textile industry went into decline Texkimp became increasingly involved in export business and in producing machinery for the growing world market for technical and high performance fibres. Texkimp now typically has 99% of its sales overseas, whilst maintaining virtually all of its manufacturing in the UK, predominantly in the North West. The overseas markets penetrated by Texkimp cover the globe, ranging from the developing economies of China, India and Vietnam to the mature markets of North America and Western Europe, across to Eastern Europe and the Middle East.

Texkimp provided the platform to enable the foundation of other companies within the Cygnet Group, which is now a diversified group of engineering companies providing bespoke engineered solutions to niche global markets. Texkimp remains a crucial subsidiary of Cygnet Group, as part of the Cygnet Texkimp division.

Mission and Values

With a strong Christian ethos at its heart, Cygnet Group aims to integrate itself as a key element in its employees’ lives and aims each day to live by a clear set of values. While recognising that we often fall short, our aim is to constantly strive to be better at what we do and how we live, making Cygnet a more enjoyable place to work and a trust worthy and motivated group of people to do business with.

We strive to build long term relationships with customers suppliers and employees, and are committed to empowering our people and enabling them to reach their full potential.

Our mission is “Empowering our people to deliver engineering excellence” and the values we attempt to live by daily are:

  • Treating others as we wish to be treated ourselves.
  • Actively listening to each other.
  • Working as a team where every success is a team success.
  • Having the utmost respect for all the people we work with.
  • Being honest and open in all our dealings.