Working from his garage, Michael Oliver developed an innovative high-pressure valve in 1979 to control the flow of oil and gas. Today his Cheshire-based business, comprising Oliver Valves, Oliver Valvetek and Oliver Twinsafe, offers a range of more than 8,000 different valves to some of the world’s largest oil and gas operators. The crash of the oil market in 2015-2016 caused revenues to plummet from £81m to £30m but Oliver has steered the business back on course. He opened a new R&D facility last year with state-of-the-art equipment and facilities, employs more than 300 people and has seen revenues bounce back to £70m, with 80 per cent of sales now coming from overseas. The business looks set to skyrocket: in March, it secured an order with NASA to supply valves for the Kennedy Space Centre and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.