Acorn Mobility

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This article was considered for deletion at Wikipedia on July 8 2015. This is a backup of Wikipedia:Acorn_Mobility. All of its AfDs can be found at Wikipedia:Special:PrefixIndex/Wikipedia:Articles_for_deletion/Acorn_Mobility, the first at Wikipedia:Wikipedia:Articles_for_deletion/Acorn_Mobility. Purge


Acorn Mobility Services Limited, more commonly known as Acorn Stairlifts, is a stairlift manufacturer based in West Yorkshire. The business was formed in 1992 primarily to recondition and sell pre-owned stairlifts but evolved to design and manufacture their own brand of stairlifts such as the Acorn Superglide .[1]

Acorn Stairlifts is an international company with offices in the USA, Canada, Germany, Belgium, Italy, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. In 2001 Acorn Stairlifts acquired Brooks Stairlifts, the original company that created the first stairlift in Britain.[2] Acorn was ranked third in Britain in the Sunday Times 2014 Profit Track 100.[3][1]

Acorn Stairlifts became the first stairlift company to earn the Ease of Use Commendation from the Arthritis Foundation.[4] Leader of the House of Commons William Hague stated during a tour of the Steeton plant in 2015: "This is a very impressive business, and one of the terrific things about it is its success in exporting".[5]

Stairlifts made by Acorn have been used by Peter Kay for a Comic Relief extravaganza, Acorn Antiques the musical in which Mrs Overall made a grand entrance on an Acorn stairlift, and on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, when Ellen DeGeneres had an Acorn stairlift fitted to the audience staircase.[6][7][8]

In 2013, James Jakes starred in an Acorn Stairlifts ad played on the NBCSN coverage of the Honda Indy Toronto races.[9]

In 2015 TV presenter and former England national football team international Gary Lineker featured in an advert [10] for Walkers Crisps as a stairlift engineer catapulted from a window riding one of Acorn's stairlifts [11] [12]


In 1992, the company started operating from a small workshop on Sackville Street, Bradford. Acorn Mobility Services bought used stairlifts to recondition and re sell.

The popular brands at the time were Stannah, Brooks, and Minivator. All their straight stairlifts were AC powered and operated on a Pinion climbing a Static Chain traction system.

In 1993, the company began the project to design and manufacture their own straight stairlift. Using the knowledge gained from repairing these competitor products, a rack and pinion drive system was chosen for it's superior safety and reliability features and 24v direct current power (battery) was employed for simplicity, ease of installation and of course the ability to operate in a power outage.

Interestingly, all major stairlift manufacturers now use this method of traction and DC power.

In 1994 the first Acorn Superglide 001 was installed in Leeds, England.

In 1998 the company launched in the USA

In 2001, Acorn bought Brooks Stairlifts Ltd., a move which further strengthened its position in the market.[2]

In 2008, a further purchase of Bison Bede Stairlifts Ltd. was made.[13] The Bison Bede plant closed a year later, when production was consolidated and transferred to Steeton.[13]

Since then Acorn Stairlifts have opened 7 more international offices in Belgium, Italy, Germany, Canada, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. Now earning more than half its revenues from overseas sales to more than 70 countries, totaling £80 million in 2014.[14][15][16]

The company are now based at Telecom House in Steeton, West Yorkshire, where John Jakes is still chairman and sole owner of the company.[2][17]

Acorn has invested more than £1 million on its factory in Steeton, employing around 500 staff and is one of the largest private sector employers in the Aire Valley.[17] There are two more factories in Shipley and Edinburgh, where its sister company, Lothian Electric Machines Limited, Lemac, employs a further 250 staff producing stairlift components.[2][17]

Acorn's Stairlift factories in the UK manufacture more than one million components each year, with more than 50,000 new stairlifts coming off the production line every year.[1]


The company has 1200+ employees worldwide.

Acorn has held the British Standards Institution (BSI) BS 5776:1996 accreditation since 1998 and in 2012 became the first stairlift company to be awarded the Ease of Use commendation from the Arthritis Foundation.[4]

Acorn have been increasing its exports each year and in 2014 exports were 58.5% of its worldwide sales.[18][3][19][20] Acorn Stairlifts has twice won the Insider Growth 100 Export Award, being among the region's top exporters;[21]

Acorn won the Made in Yorkshire Award for the exports category in 2014.[22]

At the Insider Yorkshire International Trade Awards on Thursday 4 June 2015 Acorn Stairlifts collected the prizes for; Excellence in International Trade and the prestigious International Company of the Year (50m+ Sales) Award.[23]


Acorn Stairlifts manufactures new stairlifts for rental or purchase and also supplies reconditioned used stairlifts. They have two basic models; 130 "SuperGlide" Straight and 180 "FastTrack" Curved.

The Acorn Superglide was the company's first product.[24]

The most modern version is the Acorn Superglide 130.

The Superglide 130 Outdoor stairlift is a weather-proofed stairlift designed for outdoor usage.

The firm pioneered the use of the modular rail system, "FastTrack", which is used to install the Acorn 180 curved rail stairlift.[18] Acorn Stairlifts is presently the only company in the world able to offer the user a Modular Curved Rail System.

More than 400,000 Acorn Stairlifts have been produced and in 2015 an Acorn Stairlift is installed somewhere in the world every 9 minutes. Often the day following the order. A service unmatched in the industry.

All of Acorn's current stairlifts have been independantly tested and certified to comply with or exceed the newest standard for Stairlifts.

BS EN 81-40:208 - European Safety Standards

ISO 9836-2:2000 - Worldwide Standard for Stairlifts


In 2003 Acorn Stairlifts partnered with Dr Hilary Jones to produce an information booklet for sufferers of arthritis. Dr Hilary Jones endorses the use of stairlifts for people with mobility problems.[25]

Acorn Mobility Services joined forces in 2014 with the William Keown Trust, which highlights and promotes the dignity of people with disabilities.[26]

Acorn is also active in the local community, having recently donated several stairlifts to terminally ill patients at the Marie Curie (Charity) Bradford Hospice and raising over £40,000 for the Sue Ryder (charity) Manorlands Hospice over the previous 4 years.[5][27]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "Rank: 3 Acorn Stairlifts - Profit Track". The Sunday Times. Retrieved 8 April 2015. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Holland, Chris. "John Jakes builds Acorn Stairlifts from scratch". Telegraph & Argus. Retrieved 8 April 2015. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 Shand, Alistair. "Steeton stairlift firm’s rise... and rise". Keighley News. Retrieved 8 April 2015. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Acorn Stairlifts - Ease of Use". Arthritis Foundation. Retrieved 8 April 2015. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 "House of Commons leader William Hague highlights inspirational performance of Steeton-based company Acorn Stairlifts". Keighley News. Retrieved 8 April 2015. 
  6. "Steeton-based Acorn Stairlifts loans product for TV Comic relief show". Telegraph & Argus. Retrieved 8 April 2015. 
  7. "Mrs Overall makes a comeback in a musical production in Runcorn". Runcorn and Widnes World. Retrieved 8 April 2015. 
  8. "Get an Acorn Stairlift". EllenTV. Retrieved 8 April 2015. 
  9. DiZinno, Tony. "No joke: James Jakes is in a real Acorn Stairlifts ad". NBC Sports. Retrieved 8 April 2015. 
  10. Walkers, Advert. "Gary Lineker rockets to new heights in New Walkers Crisps Stairlift TV ad ad". Walkers Crisps. Retrieved 26 March 2015. 
  11. Lineker, Gary. "Crafty OAP catapults Gary Lineker out of the window in latest Walkers advert ad". The Drum. Retrieved 26 March 2015. 
  12. Lineker, Gary. "He's given the (golden) boot! Gary Lineker gets dramatically thrown out of a glass window as he films crisp advert... but it's only a dummy ad". Daily Mail. Retrieved 15 March 2015. 
  13. 13.0 13.1 Johnson, Deborah. "Stairlift factory closes with loss of 80 jobs". The Northern Echo. Retrieved 8 April 2015. 
  14. Hitchon, Andrew. "Steeton stairlift firm to expand its export staff". Craven Herald & Pioneer. Retrieved 8 April 2015. 
  15. Chris, Holland. "Delight as Steeton stairlift firm lands export prize". Telegraph & Argus. Retrieved 8 April 2015. 
  16. "The Global Worldwide Offices of Acorn Stairlifts UK". Acorn Stairlifts. Retrieved 8 April 2015. 
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 "Kris Hopkins visits Acorn Stairlifts at Steeton". Telegraph & Argus. Retrieved 8 April 2015. 
  18. 18.0 18.1 "Ranking success is a big lift for fast-growing firm". Craven Herald & Pioneer. Retrieved 8 April 2015. 
  19. Burnett, Clare. "Entrepreneur list topped by Victoria Beckham sees 15 Yorkshire additions". Bdaily. Retrieved 8 April 2015. 
  20. "Region’s entrepreneurs outshine rivals". The Yorkshire Post. Retrieved 8 April 2015. 
  21. Knights, David. "Steeton-based Acorn Stairlifts one of the top 100 Yorkshire exporters". Keighley News. Retrieved 8 April 2015. 
  22. Shand, Alistair. "Second export award in as many months for the Steeton based company". Keighley News. Retrieved 8 June 2015. 
  23. Yorkshire, News. "Acorn lifts export trophies". Yorkshire News. Retrieved 5 June 2015. 
  24. PINTO, JENNIFER. "The Older Home: Changes help homeowners age gracefully". Retrieved 8 April 2015. 
  25. "Dr Hilary Health and Mobility Guide". Arthritis Care. Retrieved 8 April 2015. 
  26. "WILLIAM KEOWN TRUST JOIN FORCES WITH ACORN LIFTS". The William Keown Trust. Retrieved 8 April 2015. 
  27. Hitchon, Andrew. "Steeton-based Acorn Stairlifts is thanked by hospice for helping patients". Craven Herald & Pioneer. Retrieved 8 April 2015. 

Further reading

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