A YORK technology company has taken control of the biggest new research and development facility built in York in the last five years.

Measurement Devices Ltd (MDL), a family business which specialises in eye-safe laser measurement and was recently acquired by Gloucestershire-based international engineering business Renishaw plc, commissioned the building to be built at Northminster Business Park, Upper Poppleton, by Northminster Ltd.

Northminster started work on the two-storey, 20,000 sq ft Redwood House in 2010.

This was on spare land next to MDL’s existing 6,000 sq ft headquarters at Acer House, Hackness Road, which MDL bought for £3 million.

MDL, which designs and manufactures laser measurement systems for use in extreme environments such as mines and quarries, said last year that the new centre was part of its plans to grow from 63 staff to 120 and triple turnover by 2014.

George Burgess, managing director of Northminster Ltd, said: “MDL is a rapidly expanding, world-class technical innovator and manufacturer whose growth would have been welcomed anywhere in the UK. We’ve worked closely with the company to deliver exactly what they required as we had the land and development expertise to do so.

“Our land availability and edge-of-city location meant Northminster was the only York business park able to offer the long sight range for laser testing and enable MDL to remain in its first-choice city.

“This is the third building on Northminster Business Park which MDL has occupied since 2004, which has allowed them to expand their business and increase their floor space by 1,600 per cent in eight years, which is a remarkable achievement.”

Elaine Ball, managing director of MDL, said: “Northminster Ltd has taken a great deal of care over developing our new facility from the first meeting to hand over and we’re very pleased with what has been achieved which will support our growth plans for many years to come.”

MDL was founded as a family business in Scotland in 1983. It opened its first Yorkshire office at Castle Howard in 1999 and moved to 1,250 sq ft premises at Northminster Business Park in 2004 before upgrading to Acer House in 2006.

Last year it launched a miniature laser module which could be integrated into mobile phones or other technology, setting up a new Technical Services Division to provide 3D laser measurement and consultancy services for specific projects.

It has also acquired a technical and distribution facility in Canada in a multi-million pound deal. The business now has offices in Scotland, China, Australia, the US and Canada.