When entrepreneur Dennis Mendoros was looking for somewhere to set up his fledgling company, he had almost anywhere in the world to choose from.
So where, as a young man in his 30s and at the time an aeronautical engineer in Greece, did he choose to launch his aeronautical company? West Craven, of course.
Dennis is a smooth operator and had done his homework, it also helped that he had a soft spot for the UK having studied in Perth, Scotland.
He said: “Rolls Royce had moved its design and development department from Barnoldswick to Derby so there was a pool of skilled and experienced aero engineers who were second to none.
“Essentially it was an aerospace family waiting to be employed – everything was there already,” said Dennis, who during his time with Hellenic Aerospace in Greece had increased business by $68 million between 1981 and 1987.
With this knowledge, Dennis launched his new business, Euravia – today working from an impressive state-of-the-art headquarters in Kelbrook – as a one-man outfit renting a workshop and office in the now- demolished Fairbank Mill in Barnoldswick repairing aero engines.
But that location didn’t last long.
Within 15 months, he had won a contract from the Ministry of Defence which made his heart miss a beat.
He had signed a jaw-dropping £2.4 million deal for work on engines for the TriStar RB211 transport aircraft.
“When I took the cheque to the local bank it was amazing. Normally I’d be arriving with something like £1,500.
“I then had to frantically start looking for a bigger premises and get ahead recruiting more staff.”
He found a disused place in Earby and hired four experienced engineers who all had about 25 years in the industry.
Since those early days he has steered his company along a vertical take-off keeping pace with the huge changes in the industry.
His company now designs and refurbishes “life-expired” engines to a level which equals the performance of a new engine.
He has customers in over 50 different countries which means 88 per cent of the company’s output goes abroad.
He has factories in Saudi Arabia and Australia and is on the threshhold of expanding in Canada.
Despite all this Dennis remains fervently passionate about his adopted home where he lives with his wife Karen.
His 29-year-old son, Alex, works alongside his dad and his daughter, Stephanie, is a lawyer working for the probation service in London.
To crown his success, his company won a Queen’s Award for Export last year and he was given an OBE in 2001.
And until April 2011, he was High Sherriff of Lancashire a job in which he revelled.
“It was very hard work but I wouldn’t have misssed it for anything. It was a wonderful experience and I felt very proud and honoured to be appointed.” said Dennis.