New jobs will be created in Ripon when gritter and snow plough manufacturer Econ Engineering expands its contract hire division with a £250,000 investment.
Econ, which operates the country’s largest hire fleet of gritters and snowploughs, as well as selling hundreds of road maintenance vehicles to councils and contractors every year, is set to boost its contract hire fleet by a further 100 vehicles, taking its total hire fleet to 500 high-tech spreaders, worth more than £50 million.
The company, which is also the UK’s largest gritter manufacturer and one of Ripon’s largest employers, has bought a two acre site adjoining the Econ manufacturing facility from Yorkshire Water for £150,000.
Harrogate Borough Council granted outline planning for a £100,000 extension to Econ’s current production facility and a vehicle storage area with space to park a further 100 gritters that will make up part of its hire fleet. Work got underway on site earlier this month and the development is due for completion in May.
Andrew Lupton, Joint Managing Director at Econ Engineering, said: “We are seeing an escalating demand for Econ’s contract hire vehicles. The option to lease gritters and snowploughs that can be maintained on a fixed-cost basis suits many local authorities’ budgets and it’s an attractive alternative for many councils to owning their winter maintenance stock outright.”
He added: “We’re extremely proud to be one of the largest manufacturers in the area and we really value our skilled workforce, who we consider to be Econ’s greatest asset. It’s exciting that we are now looking to take on a further 20 employees to help us manufacture these state-of-the-art vehicles which are used by around three quarters of the UK’s local authorities.”