Rapid Electronics

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Rapid Electronics Ltd
Type Limited
Industry Electronics
Founded 1979
Founders Mike Lee & Chris Stevenson
Headquarters Colchester, Essex, UK
Products Electronic components, cables & connectors, electrical & educational products
Employees 150
Website www.rapidonline.com

Rapid Electronics is a UK distributor of electronic components and educational products, and supporter of science, engineering and educational initiatives, based in Colchester, Essex.


Rapid Electronics was established by Mike Lee and Chris Stevenson in 1979. The company at this time was based in a converted barn at [[Ardleigh ]], Essex, holding stock of around 200 products. Advertising in the retail electronics press generated sales and a small single sheet catalogue was mailed to customers.[1] By 2014 Rapid had increased its stock-holding to over 100,000 products and moved premises several times. Employing around 150 people, the company is currently located in premises close to the A12 and the Colchester Community Stadium. In late 2012, the company became part of the Conrad Electronic group.


The company's core products are electrical components such as resistors, capacitors and LEDs.


Among the company's customers are electrical contractors, design engineers and assembly manufacturers, users of open source programming hardware such as Arduino and Raspberry Pi, makers of audio equipment, amateur radio and model railway enthusiasts..

Rapid Electronics are also a supplier to primary schools, secondary schools and further education institutions in the UK, specialising in equipment for the science, electronics and technology areas of the National Curriculum.

Educational initiatives[edit]

Since 2004 Rapid Electronics have partnered Toyota Manufacturing UK developing and co-ordinating the Toyota Technology Challenge.[2] Pupils design, build and race environmentally friendly vehicles using solar power or PIC microcontroller technology. The company support many educational projects and initiatives, including the Suffolk Creative Computing Club,[3] the Formula Gravity racing project [4] and individual schools in robotics and science themed competitions.[5] Rapid also provides resources and technical support to the Young Engineers organisation, which runs a network of engineering challenges and clubs across the UK.[6]


  1. ^ Rapid Electronics company history
  2. ^ Hamphire and Welsh schools win 2012 Toyota Technology Challenge
  3. ^ Programmed to Inspire
  4. ^ Going downhill fast with Formula Gravity
  5. ^ New robotics system provides VEX factor for schools
  6. ^ Young Engineers Club Network