He advanced his engineering experience when he worked at Lucas Aerospace Division in Burnley where he spent 3 years as a Combustion Research Engineer working on, amongst other things, the initial stages of the combustion chamber for the Harrier Jump Jet.
Fort Vale Engineering Ltd. was founded by Mr. Fort in March 1967 at small premises in Colne with one Newhall L12 Plunge Grinder and one Precimex F6 2/3 Fine Borer. From 1967 to 1972 staff increased to 13 people. Progress was steady until January 1975 when Mr. Fort decided to purchase larger premises and the company moved to Parkfield Works, Nelson, Lancashire in September 1976. By late summer 2008, Fort Vale will have completed a huge move to Calder Vale Park, Simonestone, Lancashire, where new premises have been refurbished to cater for the huge growth of the business.
Fort Vale export 85% of all products made in Nelson to 65 countries and have won the prestigious Queen’s Award for Export on two occasions, in 1981 and 1986. In 2008, Fort Vale won the Queen’s Awards for Enterprise: International Trade 2008.
Ted Fort’s commitment and significant success was recognised in 1987 when he was awarded the OBE for his services to industry.