Our History – Innovative Thinking is in Our Genes

The 21st Century

In recent years, Entaco has developed a unique needle offering, combining the experience from years of manufacturing knowhow with current medical device processing and packaging.

In 2012, a new facility at NETPark in Co. Durham, was established to become the home of Redditch Medical, a division of Entaco, and which is dedicated to the production of InSpec Cleanroom Contamination Control products. InSpec products are trusted by pharmaceutical and lifescience companies throughout the world for cleanroom control. This manufacturing site has grown to include four InSpec production lines with several ISO 5 cleanroom facilities.

The latest developments include Contamination Control Solutions, InSpec Infection Prevention products – HR and HG and InTact Clean-In-Place detergents.

The 20th Century

In 2000, a Cleanroom was built to concentrate on the manufacture of Class IIB and III devices. These facilities are still in high demand producing medical devices that are sold into Europe and the US.  Our medical device Quality Management System is accredited to ISO 13485 and 21 CFR 820 compliant.

With a new focus on the healthcare and medical industries, the 1990’s saw construction of a control room facility controlled to EN ISO 14644 for allergy lancet production.

By the 1980’s production had grown and moved to a modern facility where diagnostic sterile products were introduced to the assembly range and produced in purpose built clean environments.


Founded in 1740

Our heritage dates back circa 300 years. The first evidence of needle making in its more conventional form was to be found in various monasteries and ecclesiastical centres throughout the county.  Bordesley Abbey founded in 1156, about a mile north of Redditch, was probably the earliest foothold of our industry in the Redditch area.

After the Great Fire of London in 1666, many of the craftsmen dispersed and several them settled in Long Crendon in Buckinghamshire, where they became renowned for making sail needles, pack needles, upholstery needles and surgeon’s needles. Gradually they migrated to Redditch making needle manufacture its staple industry.

In 1930 two of the great needlemaking giants; Milward and Hall, joined forces under a single holding company; Amalgamated Needles and Fishhooks Limited, who formed in 1932 a separate manufacturing organisation the English Needle and Fishing Tackle Company – ENTACO

The History of John James Needles

John James was formed in 1840 and registered in 1902. The name John James is synonymous with the very best of needle manufacture, quality, and reliability. The John James brand of “Finest Quality Needles” continues to be recognised by needle crafters around the globe.

The original John James factory appeared listed as a business for the first time in an 1860 directory of the Redditch area. This is further corroborated by none other than the novelist, Charles Dickens (1812 – 1870) who, in his journal “Household Words” documented a visit to the factory.