West Suffolk accoustics consultancy SRL celebrates 50 years of sound success

Suzanne Woods, chairman of SRL, centre, with Helen Blackmore, left, and Zara Bland, who were instrum

Suzanne Woods, chairman of SRL, centre, with Helen Blackmore, left, and Zara Bland, who were instrumental in organising the company's 50th anniversary event. Picture: SRL/Mackman - Credit: Archant

A west Suffolk-based acoustic consultancy has marked its 50th anniversary with a black tie dinner and family fun day.

SRL Technical Services, based at Little Waldingfield, near Sudbury, was established in Colchester in June 1967 by Ian Woods, whose grandfather founded the fan manufacturer Woods of Colchester.

The business, originally known as Sound Research Laboratory, relocated in 1969, testing the acoustic performance of products in its a laboratory as well as providing an acoustic consultancy and design service.

SRL works across sectors including education, healthcare, residential, leisure and infrastructure. It now also has sites in Manchester, Birmingham, London and Cape Town, with a total workforce of 48.

It plans to double its acoustic and airflow testing capacity with a second laboratory, at Holbrook, near Ipswich, later this year.


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Suzanne Woods, chairman of SRL, said; “When Ian started the business in 1967, acoustics was almost a dark art – no one really knew what it was all about.

“He hired a handful of acousticians, built a laboratory and was soon testing acoustic products, fans and lawnmowers, Almost immediately he started getting enquiries about this work. It hasn’t stopped growing ever since.

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“Ian died five years ago but he would have been incredibly proud of the direction in which business is moving. He enjoyed celebrating SRL’s 40th anniversary and he would be delighted it is flourishing in the way it is now.”

In its 50 years SRL has worked on projects around the world, including the Dubai Opera House, the Bordeaux Courts, the Shangri-La Hotel in Oman and oil rigs.

The company’s biggest acoustic consultancy project to date has been a five-year contract working on the Crossrail project with a firm tasked with boring 21km of tunnel underneath some of the most densely populated parts of London.

Diversifying its services, SRL’s work now includes an air quality team, noise, dust and vibration monitoring and a team of registered BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) assessors, who help construction professionals understand the environmental impacts of their developments, and how these can be mitigated.

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