First business lands in Apollo Court

Firm expands operation in county – Article by Leicestershire County Council


Pictured (From left to right) John Blackwell – Managing Director, Ian Wright – Chairman, Jon Bennett – Head of Strategic Property at LCC, Eddy Turnock – Sales Director


SELLA CONTROLS Ltd is set to create new jobs after becoming the first business to set up shop at a new £5.5m industrial park in Coalville.

Apollo Court Business Park was developed to boost business in the town by supporting start-ups and firms looking to expand.

We invested in Apollo Court as part of our corporate asset investment fund, which aims to boost the local economy and generate income for frontline services.

SELLA CONTROLS, which specialises in developing functional safety systems for a range of industries – including the rail industry, is taking advantage of this approach and expanding its operations in Coalville.

The firm, which works with companies such as Network Rail, Transport for London and Bombardier, has offices in Ashby and Stockport.

Ian Wright, Chairman of SELLA CONTROLS, said that the unit at Apollo Court was in an ‘ideal location’.

He said: “We needed to explore looking for industrial space as our equipment such as PPE and materials was taking up space in our Ashby offices.

“The unit in Coalville was ideal as it is close to our offices, based in the East Midlands and has accessible links to London. It is a blank canvas, fit for us to use however we want.

“It was important for our development to get this unit. Our business is growing, and this expansion means we have new vacancies available.”

One of the firm’s designs is a unique system that ensures that automatic doors on trains open at the right time and place when stopping at a station.

Ian said: “There are currently new trains being built that will be coming into service. However, trains are getting longer and longer, but platform lengths stay the same.

“We have developed a beacon that goes onto the rail track so when a train passes over it, it gives off a signal which states which doors open upon arrival and more importantly, which ones stay closed.

“We’re the only company in the country that does this.”

However, Ian and his colleagues, who took over the company in 2007, do not plan to stop expanding the business in Leicestershire or even the United Kingdom.

He said: “The company has been going for 46 years and my business partners and I have spent 13 years developing the rail side.

“I’m proud we have built a workforce of 110 people and have sustained relationships with big companies.

“We’ll now be looking to expand our systems in Europe.”

A range of high-spec industrial units ranging from 1,000 to 9,000 sq. ft. (92-836 sq. m.) are still available at Apollo Court.


I’m delighted to see the first business move into Apollo Court.

“Supporting businesses is important; it helps boost our local economy and creates jobs.

“SELLA CONTROLS staying within Leicestershire proves how attractive the county is as a place to not only work, but live, invest and socialise. We have been very pleased with the level of occupier interest in the units and hope to make some more announcements soon.”

Person: Councillor Byron Rhodes, county council deputy leader


The venture is part-funded by a £2.4m grant from the Local Growth Fund, a pot of government funding awarded to the Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership Limited (LLEP) for projects that benefit the local area and economy.

Kevin Harris, chair of the LLEP, said: “Our Local Growth Fund was set up to benefit the wider economy of Leicester and Leicestershire. SELLA CONTROLS’ move to the Apollo Court Business Park in Coalville is the culmination of a project that will see jobs created and revenue generated in the local area.

“I’m proud that the LLEP was able to support this project, and deliver a top-class site for businesses to move to and thrive now and in the future.”

Premier Rail Specialists to continue Partnership to Support Transport for London Systems

Systems integration specialist SELLA CONTROLS and telecommunications business telent Technology Services Ltd are to continue their partnership in providing maintenance and support services to Transport for London (TfL).

Following the successful award by Transport for London of the ‘1FM Service Agreement’ to telent, SELLA CONTROLS has been awarded a 7 year third line support agreement for the systems it supplied to the Central and Piccadilly Line Control Rooms.

The ‘1FM Service Agreement’ combines mission-critical maintenance services, system design and upgrade works for TfL’s technology assets across varied environments including roads, rivers, the London Underground and office buildings. SELLA CONTROLS has been working closely with telent over the last two years in providing support for the systems within an existing contract. During this time the two companies have built a strong partnership supporting the Central Line and Piccadilly Line Systems. A partnership that will now continue into the new agreement.

SELLA CONTROLS built and commissioned the Central Line CCS and Piccadilly Line RCS solutions, using its integrated Tracklink® SCADA application for telecommunications. This included the integration of CCTV, Telephony, LLPA, SCADA and the safe control of ETCDS. These systems are critical to the operation of the two lines, requiring 24/7 availability.

telent Technology Services Ltd’s maintenance service team, based in East London, will carry out all first line maintenance activities on the systems with SELLA CONTROLS providing third line support. In addition to operational support, annual Planned Preventative Maintenance services on the key systems will be completed by SELLA CONTROLS.

Chris Elliott, SELLA CONTROLS’ Business Development Manager for Rail commented; “the Central Line CCS and Piccadilly Line RCS solutions have now been operational for some time during which the two companies have provided a high quality of maintenance services ensuring that both systems achieve optimum performance. We are looking forward to the continued working relationship with the maintenance team from telent building a strong partnership over the next 7 years. This is a great example of the supply chain working collaboratively in the best interest of the customer.”

Ben Armstrong, Account Director at telent Technology Services Ltd added; “SELLA CONTROLS have supplied excellent third line support for the operationally critical control room systems installed on the Central and Piccadilly Lines over the past 2 years. With this new contract award we will continue to provide an outstanding service to TfL assisting them to keep London moving.”

The support agreement between telent and SELLA CONTROLS commenced on 1st January 2020 when the current Communications Maintenance Services contract expired.

TUV Cyber Security Specialist

SELLA CONTROLS are pleased to announce that our Principal Functional Safety Consultant, Ian Dolan, has successfully passed the TUV Rheinland Cyber Security training programme in the field of Security Risk Assessment. Ian joins just a handful of people who have successfully gained the title of CySec Specialist (TUV Rheinland, SRA), further enhancing SELLA CONTROLS’ safety consultancy services. With recent increased focus on cyber security risks in industrial automated control systems (IACS) along with the additional requirement to carry out security risk assessments on Safety Instrumented Systems, there is a growing need for competent personnel to carry out risk assessment activities in this field. Please contact us to find out how we can help with your Cyber Security Risk Assessment needs.

Brexit Planning Statement – October 2019

Since the UK Referendum on membership of the European Union Sella Controls has been continually assessing the likely impact of “Brexit” on our business and working to mitigate the impact; whatever the eventual outcome in October 2019.

Our primary objective is to ensure continuity of service to our customers by working closely across our supply chain and our risk management is focused on a constant review of supply chain planning in light of the anticipated risks around various Brexit scenarios; taking in to consideration the latest publicly available information.

Our current assessment is that the likely impact on our business will be low as our operations are based entirely in the UK however we have international customers and suppliers and have implemented continuity planning as follows:-

  • The major area of risk is around future customs arrangements. We trade internationally and are already experienced at importing and exporting within and beyond the EU; working within existing customs declaration procedures with a UK EORI Number, which will facilitate customs clearances, should there be a no deal scenario.
  • We are working closely with our import / export agents and transporters to ensure there is a smooth transition and they are able to declare goods on our behalf. We are also engaging the Customs Declaration Service (CDS) to assist in smooth transactions through borders.
  • We have undertaken a mapping of our supply-chain with high (Tier 1) to low (Tier 4) risk and are working with Tier 1 companies obtaining their direct support to ensure our supply chain is prepared in the event of no deal. All Tier 2-4 suppliers have provided us with statements on their own Brexit preparations.
  • We have held meetings with our UK wholesale suppliers who in turn have their own non-UK supplies and obtained assurances that they have appropriate plans in place and are carrying stock levels to meet our needs.
  • We have undertaken a review of all of our non-UK suppliers and discussed with them arrangements to bring forward delivery of critical components scheduled for the October / November period.
  • To assist our staff internally we have a help file with links to relevant HMRC advice to ensure that shipment details are as accurate as possible which will further mitigate potential delays at customs points.
  • We have set aside working capital funding to facilitate increased levels of stock holding.
  • We provide control systems through our engineering expertise and our technicians and engineers are predominately UK residents. We do not envisage any issues with residency of our current workforce and continue to monitor this.
  • We trade in a number of currencies including the Euro with our inflows in foreign currencies aligned to our respective outflows and see little exposure should there be a short-term devaluation in sterling. Should this be longer term we will adapt our currency exposure risk management accordingly.
  • We recognise that under certain scenarios Brexit may impact the Standards and Regulatory environment in which we operate however our current view is that there is insufficient clarity around this area against which to plan; other than to continually assess updates from industry bodies and regulatory authorities.

In summary, we are not aware of any issues likely to seriously impact our business but continue to monitor this closely.  Any disruption we envisage will be short-term disruption at borders and customs clearance and we have mitigated this by targeted early delivery of critical equipment and strategic stock holdings; both directly and through our suppliers; as set out above. With what we know today we have appropriate plans in place, which are under constant review.  As an SME we are able to react quickly to the impact of various Brexit scenarios and this has a high priority on our Risk Register and is under regular review by our Board of Directors.


John Blackwell

Managing Director

SELLA CONTROLS adds Honeywell Modular Systems to our product partner portfolio

SELLA CONTROLS is delighted to announce the addition of Honeywell Modular Systems to our product partner portfolio. Honeywell have a diverse range of safety, control and automation products. These, coupled with their innovative software solutions for cyber security and process safety, perfectly complement our System Integration and Functional Safety consultancy business. We look forward to a long and successful relationship as a Honeywell Channel Partner.

Our Sales Manager Andy Tonge and Process Safety Managing Director Chris Parr officially signed the partnership agreement recently at Honeywell’s Channel Partner conference in The Hague.

Trading Result – 2018/19

SELLA CONTROLS are delighted to announce that we closed our Financial Year 2019 with Sales Orders of £12.4m; an excellent performance matching our previous record year and driven from both a continued recovery in our process safety business combined with further significant growth across our rail business.

These sales orders drove both increased revenues and generated a solid order book, which provides an excellent platform on which we will maintain our momentum and deliver another strong financial performance for the new financial year.

Our Sales Revenues represent a 13% growth on previous year generated from improved performance in our process safety business alongside exceptional growth in our rail business:-

  • Process Safety maintaining its improved performance of the previous year driven from increased safety systems engineering, Functional Safety consultancy, control panel works and Technical Support services.
  • Rail Systems another record year with a combination of engineering systems, SCADA electrification works, station improvement programmes and our own Tracklink® range of systems.

All areas of our business performed well and generated strong operating profits and cash; which we have reinvested in the business. We have continued to enhance and grow our engineering resource and develop new business from functional safety assurance services whilst also continuing to invest in the development of new products, systems and applications.

These are exciting times as we maintain the momentum we have generated over the previous two years and our business continues to drive forward with SELLA CONTROLS; as an independent safety systems integrator; generating opportunities across new sectors and geographic markets combined with growth in our core markets.

John Blackwell

Managing Director

SELLA CONTROLS is pleased to announce the appointment of Chris Parr as the new Managing Director – Process Safety

Stockport, United Kingdom – Systems Integration and Functional Safety specialist SELLA CONTROLS is pleased to announce the appointment of Chris Parr as Managing Director for Process Safety.

Chris Parr, a Chartered Engineer and TÜV Rheinland Certified Functional Safety Expert, has over 24 years’ experience in the specification, design and assessment of safety critical control systems. Chris has been leading our Functional Safety consultancy business for the last two years having previously worked as a technical specialist within a multi-national Oil and Gas consultancy and verification organisation.

Chris Parr comments: “SELLA CONTROLS has over 45 years of experience in supplying Safety Instrumented Systems and Functional Safety solutions in various applications to the Oil, Gas, Chemical, Petrochemical, Power and Nuclear Industries. My new role will allow me to drive the Process Safety business further by development of key account strategies, forging additional OEM relationships for safety applications, growing our functional safety, assurance, SIS analysis, cyber security consultancy and continued focus on our installed base and our wider Technical Support capability.”

John Blackwell, Group Managing Director for Sella Controls comments: “The appointment of Chris is a key part of our plan for driving forward our Process Safety business, applying intense focus to this area to develop it alongside our rapidly expanding Rail Systems area and we see exciting times ahead for Process Safety. Chris’s appointment reinforces the importance we attach to our Process Safety business.”

Photo: Chris Parr MD – Process Safety

SELLA CONTROLS awarded CIS replacement works by Great Western Railway

Stockport, United Kingdom – Systems integration specialist SELLA CONTROLS is pleased to announce the contract award by Great Western Railway (GWR) to install replacement Customer Information Systems (CIS) displays across 8 stations in the south west area.

With the ongoing requirement to enhance the customer experience across the network, the new displays will provide a modern front and provide passengers with new additional information.

The contract covers complete GRIP5 design including Listed Building Consent (LBC) to achieve Landlords Consent (LLC), structural calculations and installation of over 100 screens.

SELLA CONTROLS will be working with GWRs named suppliers to upgrade the network and install new display equipment to enhance each location. This consistent approach and great partner relationships will create efficiencies for a successful delivery of the scheme.

The CIS replacement project is part of GWRs & FirstGroup’s commitment to enhance the customer experience across the network.

Matt Watson, SELLA CONTROLS’ Sales Application Engineer for Rail commented. “The successful award of this contract is brilliant news for the business. This is a superb milestone achievement for our SISS development. We are pleased to be working with GWR to achieve great customer satisfaction.”

Paul Higgins, GWR Project Manager commented. “This is a high profile project for GWR and selecting the right delivery partner was critical and we look forward to working with SELLA CONTROLS.”

SELLA CONTROLS to replace Docklands Light Railway SCADA Solution

Stockport, United Kingdom – Systems integration specialist SELLA CONTROLS is pleased to announce the contract award by KeolisAmey Docklands (KAD), the franchise operator of the Docklands Light Railway (DLR), to replace the Traction Power SCADA System on the DLR.

With the impending procurement of new rolling stock and the long term enhancement and expansion plans for the network, the new solution will provide KAD and the DLR with a modern COTS based platform for their Traction Power Control.

The contract covers the complete design, engineering, build, installation and commissioning of a solution using SELLA CONTROLS’ Tracklink® SCADA product. Based on the latest Panorama E2 platform, the new system will be engineered to retain the functionality of the current system and to deliver an ease of migration for operators and minimise training activities.

The contract includes the supply of new Tracklink® SCADA server suites, main/remote operator and maintainer workstations plus the provision of a Network Management System for performance and fault analysis. Where practical, the system will also be enhanced to create ease of use for the operations team introducing asset specific user profiles to manage alarm conditions.

Chris Elliott, SELLA CONTROLS’ Business Development Manager for Rail commented. “The successful award of this contract is fantastic news for the business. This is a significant milestone for our Tracklink® product range. We are pleased that SELLA CONTROLS has been chosen by KAD to supply a modern COTS based solution for power control.”

Elliott added further. “With the impending expansion works planned by Transport for London for the DLR network, the implementation of this replacement solution will provide the necessary platform to KAD to enhance and expand its network of operations.”

Gavin Silvey, General Manager for KeolisAmey Docklands commented. “This is a high profile project for KAD and critical to the long term operations and resilience of the network. Selecting the right solution and delivery partner was critical and we look forward to working with SELLA CONTROLS on this project. We will adopt a ‘one team’ approach with my team from KAD but also our client DLRL and the team from SELLA CONTROLS.”

Raj Parmar, KAD Power Systems Manager added. “Where practical, the system will also be enhanced to create ease of use for our operational team introducing asset specific user profiles to manage alarm conditions.”

Once the new system has been delivered into operation SELLA CONTROLS will also continue to supply maintenance support services for the next five years.

Offshore Success

SELLA CONTROLS have recently completed the Factory Acceptance Test on a solid state Safety Instrumented System for an offshore production platform in the North Sea. The system will provide shutdown functions for additional process equipment associated with a new subsea development project that includes new production wells and water injection wells.

SELLA CONTROLS has been providing high integrity systems using HIMA Solid-state safety technology since 1983 and our UKAS accredited Functional Safety Management System provides assurance that our systems meet the rigorous design and verification requirements for SIL 3 applications.