Being trusted to supply UK-manufactured storage since 1951 is an iconic milestone.

That year, Britain was celebrating the inventiveness and genius of British manufacturing, science and technology and it was considered a time of great progress following years of war and austerity. Against this backdrop, father and son James and Peter Kinnear established The Handy Angle Company at Brierley Hill in the heart of England’s industrial ‘Black Country’. They set up a small workshop with an original staff of six and from there, started manufacturing a range of practical slotted steel angles.

The region was already considered innovative and influential in shaping trends and consumer tastes and the company was well placed to tap into that innovation. They developed a tensioning plate design which provided a stable and highly configurable storage system based on a range of slotted steel sections, matching clamping plates and bolted shelving. Building on this innovation, the business grew to meet the increasing demand for improved, purpose-built storage equipment. By 1966, The Handy Angle Company had changed its name to Link51, combining the year of incorporation and the word Link, describing the various types of storage equipment and techniques grouped within one company. It has never looked back.

Our story – capturing 70 years of British design, manufacture and installation of pallet racking, shelving and lockers by one company – remains unique today.

Designed for strength, built to last

Throughout the seven decades, we have tracked the changing needs for storage – always innovating and setting trends. As the UK’s largest manufacturer and supplier of steel storage systems, we expand capabilities with storage. Today, our comprehensive range of products and solutions continue to meet the demand for rigorous and effective storage management for all types of industries and specifications.

As Jon Templeman, Whittan CEO said, “Not many businesses have the durability to last 70 years! Whittan and its predecessor businesses, Link51 and Apex, have demonstrated the ability to survive and adapt to a changing market over the years. Link51 began life as a more general steel fabricator but chose to concentrate on storage solutions some decades ago. As the largest UK manufacturer, we have been at the forefront of changes in the industry, for example pioneering the first pallet racking system using a bolted rather than welded frame.

“We have also been influential in the development of industry standards, both at SEMA here in the UK, and also in Europe, where we have become an increasingly important player since our acquisition of the Permar (now Polypal) business in Spain. We have changed our customer service approach from being product based to focusing on storage systems as solutions for customer challenges. Our use of technology and the knowledge and experience of our experts, both in terms of design and project execution, has enabled us to respond to the growing demand for inventive, automated solutions.

“More than anything, however, it has been the commitment and innovation of generations of Link51/Apex/Whittan staff which has ensured that the business has thrived, and I am confident that this dedication and success will continue.”

Whittan’s trusted brands include Link51 and APEX, providing design, manufacture and installation of racking and shelving products; Hi-Store, for mezzanine floors; market-leading display and storage solutions for retail sectors from Polypal UK and an extensive range of lockers and workplace products from Probe and Link Lockers.

The backbone for many of the UK’s leading and household brands and organisations, our storage solutions are present across warehouses, stores, offices and organisations across industries and sectors – from creating the space to store defence equipment on board a submarine, to protecting couture archives for big brand names, providing secure storage lockers for offices, schools and gyms, or storing decades of film reel. Our products are also part of the UK’s story for quality in local manufacturing, sustainability and moving towards net-zero. All our products are manufactured in the UK. This is important as it means that we’re never far away from installation sites and you won’t need to worry about extra delays, cancellations to orders or disruptions to your timeline. It also means that we can cut down on carbon emissions.

Together with our health and safety and industry accreditations and use of anti-microbial technology in our systems, these are all visible endorsements of our commitment to quality, responsible business practices and a sustainable approach.

With 70 years’ experience in steel shelving and pallet racking, we have full confidence in the excellent quality of our UK-based manufacturing, our solutions and our experienced teams. In the tradition established in 1951 by James and Peter Kinnear, we continue to help businesses large and small, across a vast range of sectors with a huge array of storage needs.

Whatever your unique storage requirements, we make your space work harder for you by ensuring you have the most innovative, flexible and future-proof storage solution in place for your exact needs. We have an extensive UK-wide network with experts on hand to help, so let us bring the power of storage to your business. Call us today on 01952 682251 or visit


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