The Bedford Heights journey began when it was built by Texas Instruments in 1960. The building was built with a Hurricane resistant roof, which was a blueprint lifted from the Texas headquarters that was located at the time in Dallas. So lucky for us, storm Doris was no match for our highly resistant building.
So who actually are Texas Instruments? TI have re-engineered themselves many times over the year. Although today they are primarily a technology company, their spirit of innovation has been at the heart of who they are for decades.
In 1950 TI officially became “Texas Instruments Incorporated and in 1958, Jack Kilby invented the integrated circuit, which went on to revolutionise the semiconductor industry and set the bar for all modern day electronics!
The circuit that Kilby created was a relatively simple device. He showed it to a handful of his colleagues whilst they were gathered in TI’s semiconductor lab 50 years ago — only a transistor and other components on a slice of germanium. Little did this group of onlookers know, but Kilby’s invention, 7/16-by-1/16-inches in size and called an integrated circuit, was about to revolutionise the semi- conductor industry.
After this astonishing breakthrough, TI went on to develop the first electronic hand-held calculator (Cal Tech) while also focusing their other efforts on developing faster, smaller and more powerful TI chips. Incredibly in 1967, the Apollo Lunar Module landed on the moon containing TI components!
There are a number of current staff that have been at Bedford Heights for a long period of time. Yolande Lewis our very own Mechanical Maintenance Engineer first joined in the mid-1980’s building machines for testing microchips in what was called Block ‘A’ over west site. He then moved to the main building in 1990 to join the maintenance team!
Our Maintenance Manager – Deane Fines is another example of someone who has spent a lot of time here. He originally joined the building when it was owned by Texas Instruments, in December 1990, as a temporary maintenance man through manpower. He was taken on as a permanent member of staff only for TI to announce their closure the same month!
In 1999 the building was totally transformed with the replacement of the external windows that was done previously during the 1980’s. It was finally turned into fully managed office spaces ranging from 180 to 28,000 ft2.
Verve Developments bought Bedford Heights in 2014, and are currently embarking on a programme of improvements to enhance the space. The developer has started a phased programme of improvement and refurbishment throughout the building which will include a brand new entrance and reception.
New catering space, office suites and a landscaped garden – has attracted new firms to take space in the 230,000 square foot building. The complex is already home to more than 1,000 employees, including those at bpha and Pure Gym and many other companies!
For sixty-five years, Bourns Limited has been a leader in supplying reliable high-quality electronic components and solutions. They have implemented and designed into virtually every type of electronic system. Bourns take pride in being an employer of choice and employ over 100 people in their manufacturing plant at Bedford Heights. The Company is a key division of the Bourns Electronics Group and is a large player in the global market for Electronic Components.
There are lots of exciting developments and improvements planned over the coming months at Bedford Heights and it’s fantastic to look back and see how far we have come. Not only are we perfectly placed for business but we are now a permanent landmark on the Bedfordshire map.